It gives us a sense of spine tingling excitement to bring to you 'Hôpital De La Conception (The Electric Rockin’ Chair)' , a real mind-destroyer for all you zealots of primitive electric guitar fury and the utter expression of instinctive command, a tantalizing charge of impenetrable origin, deeply infused in the savage fire and filled with unruly beauty.
The so-called Hôpital De La Conception has in order to maintain an aura of mystery and ensure the unacceptability of the band member(s)’ real identity; as a matter of fact, the only thing to feed our fantasies lies exclusively in the disclosure of the man-behind-the-guitar&voice’s epic moniker: Junk Nurse. Hear what happens once Junk Nurse is set in The electric rockin’ chair: a powerful dichotomy gliding over the music form, an influx of deconstruction, a barrage of free-form excavations meeting with a minimalist (and spooky!) edifice which repeatedly hammers its mantra with motorik pressure. One feels there is a strong inclination to defy the music genre by opening the possibilities for improvisation and developing progressive structural changes. The recording offers two massive instrumental pieces like resonant monoliths, fully urban and in (most likely) an unusual open-chord tuning. A haunting sporadic singing is found interspersed in the flow, it arises in sudden bursts and in an unexpected way like to summon the spirit of a forgotten protest. The gripping guitar tone enables Junk Nurse to sharpen his style to the most expressive edge, as we also see him able to enter the realm of Guitar-Feedback noise through a melodic door leading to a unique mastery in subtle & complex frequencies and, from there to definitely unfold such an onslaught of guitar sounds as scary as dazzling for the senses.
Directly mastered from reel tape, 'Hôpital De La Conception’s The electric rockin’ chair' is an inspirational journey through the meanders of intense saturation & rumbling vibes, one of these rare ecstatic experiences to surface in our new Millenium.
As far as personal listening concerns go, Hôpital de la Conception's THE ELECTRIC ROCKIN' CHAIR tape continues to be my number one nighty-night fave listening experience, oozing me into sonic dreams that only Lou Reed was once capable of having! Let me tell you, it's rock 'n roll like this that really gives me the spirit to get up in the morning and face life knowing that there still is a streak of bared-wire intensity out there somewhere and that existence out there is not all sicko decadent stuff the kind YOU like to wallow in. Hope that things do get brighter even if I have to rely on 40/50-plus-year-old material in order to get those proverbial jams kicked out, at least in my mind...
When it comes to the early French punk rock groups you undoubtedly never heard about before, European Son might have been one of the more tasty of the entire batch of obscurities who should have released something but remain forgotten because of their misfortune even to this very day. Perhaps somewhere in between the atonal flow of Mahogany Brain and the arrival of Metal Urbain (at least from the few reports extant they were!), European Son were a two-guitar and two-guitar only group who wore their influence on their name. Not only that but the two were perhaps one of a handful of seventies acts to actually tackle "Sister Ray" long before the Velvets' more cute and camp influences began to penetrate the hearts and minds of acoustic buskers and other precocious jellybabies, people who never were able to stomach the real reason for being that I would have ASSUMED was part and parcel to the Velvet's entire reason for existing in the first place.
Like you, I never had the opportunity to hear European Son and they do rank on my list of various VU-minded acts who never released any documents I must hear sometime in the near future. However it is a WELL KNOWN FACT that this new French group, Hopital de la Conception, is the SPIRIT AND ENERGY OF EUROPEAN SON WOOSHED INTO THE MINDS AND BEINGS OF TWO OF THE TRUE HEIRS OF FRENCH UNDERGROUND ROCK BRAVE ENOUGH TO ACTUALLY CHANNEL THE FERAL ELEMENTS OF THE VELVET UNDERGROUND INTO THEIR OWN DECADENT DNA, and I really do mean it.
Two tracks (flip the tape over and it's the exact same thing!) that surprisingly enough have that "Sister Ray" hard-nosed Velvets drive which kicks up the spirit and makes you PROUD that you are a mammal and alive in the here and now if this is any indication of what the future shall bring us in music. Like European Son this is two guitars (and vocals) and nothing else, with loads of feedback, atonal soloing, repeato riffs and that whole general basement/bedroom/garage recording rock 'n roll that'll get you up and moving like you did when you'd rush to the mailbox and open up the latest issue of TAKE IT! even before you got to your welfare check. It's that much Velvet homage and thankfully eschews all of the sappy sweetness that never really was part of that group's heritage no matter how many versions of "Sweet Jane" you may hear strummed.
Yes this "Electric Rockin' Chair" is rockin' me crazy (the package this came in sez INTENSE SATURATION INSIDE and who am I to argue?) and I suggest that you send these guys (or at least Gregory Raimo) some filthy lucre and hope he sends you something back. And (as Peter Laughner said about the Electric Eels) just hope it doesn't bite you when you open the thing!
_Chris Stigliano, Blog To Comm
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