N.A.L.T.1, the debut album by Italian act
Les Fauves, is apparently the first instalment of a planned
trilogy. Don't let that proggy proposal put you off, however,
as thankfully there is nothing remotely Emerson, Lake & Palmer
about this set. Indeed, N.A.L.T.1 is more likely
to appeal to folk who like the "new wave" records that came
out circa 1978-79 when the parameters of punk had widened,
but the energy had been retained. Admittedly, it's something
of a mixed bag, but it definitely has its moments, not least
the opening track Please Please Please which, with its
noisy Damned-like bass riff and a Jim Reid-ish voice crooning
a somewhat abstract kind of melody, is definitely a promising
start. And then things don't let up for a while. In The
Fallout Shelter has some nice chopping guitars and rolling
drums, whilst Fava Go Go Dancer is something of a singalong
number with what distinctly sounds like added cowbells. And
frankly, you just don't get enough cowbells on records nowadays!
Twister Twist is another track with a good bass riff, and as it builds
it starts to resemble The White Stripes in one of their earlier, more energetic
moments. Likewise, Atomic Winter is a melodic number with a toe-tapping
beat, and is one of the best songs here.
Novarra is another highlight, being something of a quirky little number, which with that tinny organ sound is vaguely reminiscent of early XTC but with Jack White on vocals, whilst No Spaghindie has something of a Spirit of '77 feel to it. Freak Riot features more choppy post-punk guitars and lots of "dududu's" for you to join in with, whilst Tom Ponzi's Boogie has that deep growling Stranglers Nice & Sleazy bass sound and also features a section that sounds like something from an old musical. You know, like when Alice Cooper went all West Side Story on the Schools Out album.
Unfortunately, following The Holy Church which sounds the way I imagine Madness might have sounded had they followed a slightly noisier direction, things peter out somewhat as Alright – another noisy one – and Bombs On The Siae are rather throwaway. The album ends with The Heroin Melody, which is one of the odder tracks here and, though interesting enough, it pales in comparison to the earlier tracks. Still, despite this tailing off towards the end, there should be more than enough to enjoy during the first two thirds of N.A.L.T.1 to keep you more than entertained.