The first time I heard France's Rinocerose it was in the context of a VW commercial. You know the rally car one where they say "cute car." I discovered the name of the band accidentally while browsing around on the internet. I figured, "What the Hell. I'll take a chance on this one." So I ordered it. It's an interesting album because, while it is house music, Rinocerose employs a mostly guitars to achieve their sound. The standard techno beat is there but it's a guitarfest. Interesting.
I loved the first cut immediately. "La Guitaristic House Organization" starts out with a standard sounding programmed drum track but then the guitars kick in, jaggedly at first, then the rest of the sounds begin to swirl in around it. "Radiocapte" really starts to take off and has the kind of driving beat that I love in this genre. The subtleties of the guitar work, however, make it stand out. It's very cool. The third cut, "Sublimior," continues the heavy dance beat, which is fine for a while, but then this flute comes in and it bugs me just because whenever I hear a flute in pop music I can't get the image of Jethro Tull out of my mind. The same can be said for "Le Mobiliere." But it's even more bothersome because it has such a seventies funky feel to it that I have to skip it. I hate the music of the seventies. One of the most intriguing cuts is "323 Seconds de Musique Repetitive avec Guitare Espagnole." It retains the funkiness from the previous track but the acoustic guitar adds a dimension that is very palatable. The primaries in Rinocerose are Jean-Philippe Freu and Patou Carrie. Freu's obviously an excellent guitarist and Carrie is solid on the bass. It seems that a great deal of studio work managed to make this album work. "Mes Vacanaces a Rio," further illustrates this. It's a cool groove-oriented cut. The album flows from cut to cut rather seamlessly. The techno-edge found in the beginning of the album drifts away by the time "Popular Mechanics" rolls onto the scene. A serene moment that is an interlude of sorts. It's a strong background cut. The evolution continues as the album continues. "I Love Ma Guitare" sounds lie a standard guitar-driven bluesy rock cut at first until a sampled house drum beat kicks in, followed by some trippy electronic piano work while the guitar goes into an effects-laden trip. It's one of the strongest cuts on the album. Then we're back in fluteland on "Rock Classics."
What could have been a great EP is only a good album. The band has toured around as a seven-piece and apparently has been able to replicate their sound on stage. The only question I have is what can they do as a follow up? I Like it but I don't know how much more I need. It's tough to be an instrumental techno band when that genre is starting to suffer from the same lack of creativity that is plaguing the rest of pop music. Rinocerose is extremely creative. I just don't know if this is it.
- La Guitaristic House Organization
- Le Mobiliere
- 323 Seconds de Musique Repetitive avec Guitare Espagnole
- Mes Vacanaces a Rio
- Popular Mechanics
- I Love Ma Guitare
- Rock Classics Volume 1
- Le Triangle