Cheveu - “Charlie Sheen” (2011)
In a genre where the word “angular” is used with alarming frequency, Cheveu’s take on post-punk is obtuse in the best possible sense. When not setting fire to pop-rap or psychosexual film dialog, these frenetic Frenchmen take their sonic and spiritual cues from all sorts of musical pranksters: fellow countrymen and proto-industrial noiseniks Metal Urbain, British New Wave chuckleheads bIG fLAME and Family Fodder, and even good ol’ American Captain Beefheart. Calling Cheveu eccentric only scratches their idiosyncratic surface. There’s the eerily prophetic “Charlie Sheen”, a track whose flip-flopping between loping synth tones and digital hardcore breakdowns mirrors the actor’s current manic state. There’s “Sensual Drug Abuse”, a spoken-word/rap on the titular subject set over chiming hip-hop groove burbles. There’s “Impossible Is Not French”, in which an Iggy-Poppish Lemoine repeatedly sneers variations on the lyric, “French know how to do what you don’t know what to do,” through his usual pedal-distorted setup. Nothing from Cheveu sounds quite like anything else, but there’s no mistaking who’s making this noise.