LUGUBRUM TRIO ‘Plage Chômage’ review

So, here it is, and you probably deserve it if you have followed the band this far, a Lugubrum Trio album with absolutely no black metal in it at all. What the hell man?! Ha ha! Come on, all the signs were there from day one! You remember imagining how all those Burzum fans in their long leather trench coats must have felt when he released Daudi Baldrs? It would have been ever funnier had the Eight-bit Dungeon Synth been like the deconstructed funk / reggae on offer here.

Plage Chômage‘s opening track ( literally beach unemployment ) might pose some questions for first time listeners, such as ‘what the hell is this?’, and ‘Is this a cinema advert for intermission hotdogs?’, or maybe later ”Is this Sister Nancy?’. The drums are real, at first, but then either a drum machine takes over, or the previous beats are sampled and then used from then on….in fact, yes, what some of this album seems to be is snapshots of recordings that have then been further arranged and developed. Track two sounds like a stakeout scene from Starsky and Hutch. Track three is hot, with lots of drums, and is a bit more shouty. Track four is meandering wah-reggae. Track five is the same. Track six uses a hammond organ to play a melody which is highly inappropriate but will have been done with a very stoic expression, I am sure. I really like that. Everything starts off convincingly and then starts falling apart in quite a mesmerising way. The lyrics are as insane as ever.

Midgaars is a very good guitarist and creates very original shapes with his riffs. Well, now it seems he’s become overall arranger and that has spilled over into the other instruments, organ, trombone, glockenspiel, flutes etc, and you get a much different effect with that way of working. Sometimes the musical sections contrast wildly, like they’ve been cut up and arranged how a visual artist would do it, whereas it is a human tendency to give away what’s coming when you play it organically. But anyway, no-one on this planet is going to be making another Plage Chomage any time soon. An absolute one-off. I think I described the last album as black metal in a Hawaiian shirt. This one, well it’s simultaneously relaxing and troublesome, a bit like going to the fair at night when you were a kid, which was exciting and a bit intoxicating but you were always aware of the drunk sleazy blokes trying to get off with your mum. And, even worse – she might have looked as if she quite liked it!

The band describe this as a Jamaican soundtrack to a David Lynch movie. My summary? If you own or have ever owned a black metal album, then this is the only reggae band you’ll ever need. Another classic. Keep them coming Lugubrum Trio!

Field recordings for the latest Lugubrum Trio project – pic from Facebook page.



PS If you are new to Lugubrum ( Trio ), perhaps first check our review of the last two albums here:

PPS. They’re playing in London in March!

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