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You Say France and I Whistle

Angry Men

Review by Gary Hill

“You Say France and I Whistle” is one of the strangest band names I’ve ever heard. The group in some ways lives up to that name by being a creative outfit. They touch on a lot of different sounds and the bass is the real dominant factor on the disc. Although they have a pretty wide palette of sounds, they do get a bit redundant and samey at times. The good thing is, that’s not that frequent and they really show they have potential to be great. As it is, they’ve produced quite a good album here.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 2 at

Track by Track Review
Angry Men

This is a bouncy cut that’s kind of like a cross between Primus and The Talking Heads. Of course, that Primus link is mostly because of the bass guitar. There’s a cool saxophone solo later in the number.


Here’s a fun number that has a lot of 1980s pop rock built into it. It’s still got some of that Talking Heads vibe, but perhaps mixed with an Aussie rock sound. Somehow I can even make out a little Clash on this thing. There’s a percussion driven section late in the piece.

A rhythmically driven number, this one features female vocals and has a real punk meets pop sound. Later the male vocals return and this kicks into more Talking Heads like music. This is one of the more adventurous cuts and includes a cool bass driven section that turns almost jazzy.
Our Spiderweb
Here’s an intriguing tune. It has almost a progressive rock vibe at times, but mixed with something akin to the Clash. This one also has sections of male vocals interspersed with sections featuring female singing. A high energy section later is particularly effective. There’s a tasty instrumental movement at the end.
When Lovers Die
This energetic rocker has a lot of punk rock built into it and somehow reminds me quite a bit of Black 47 with more of that Clash sound. It has both male and female vocals and this is one the highest energy romps on show here. It’s also one of the most effective tunes.
Bouncy, fun and quite funky, this really presents a change. It’s got both the male and female vocals and is very interesting and entertaining. It works out to a bit of European café music later and then turns to an extremely accessible jam from there.
This Is Sunday, Right?
An energized rocker, the bass really drives this one. It has almost a modern alternative pop texture. At times it even leans towards modern progressive rock. Still, it’s got enough of that 1980s pop rock to keep it in the alternative rock vein. There’s even a little bit of electronica later.
This isn’t that much different from the rest of the stuff here. Sure, it’s got some variants, but the formula is starting to wear a little thin at this point. Still, the hook here is quite accessible and there are some great keyboard tones later.
Johnny Ulysses
Alternative rock drives this one with the rhythm section remaining the dominant force throughout. This is OK, but really not up to the standards of the rest of the set. The samey quality is certainly starting to become prominent, too. That said, the energetic section near the end is fun.
Prom Queens
The bouncy arrangement here has some funk built into it. The killer bass line, along with that funk element make this one stand out above the rest of the music here. In addition the male and female vocals working in unison a lot of the time make this one of the highlights of the set. It’s fun and rather meaty.
Where's My Gun?
The rhythm section drives this, serving as the only real backdrop to the earliest sections. There’s almost an old-style psychedelic texture to this. It feels folky and even a little like Led Zeppelin’s acoustic stuff. Later it turns to almost total folk music. While this isn’t the best track on show, the severe change of styles makes it a much needed dose of variety.
I'm On Your Side
We’re back to more familiar territory here and the bass guitar surely drives this number. There’s a more driving rock section later. This one is good, but again very much like the rest of the music on show here.
Second Thoughts
There’s a great bouncy rock and roll vibe to this cut. It’s fun and while too samey, a strong number.
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