They’re back to play us a trick with a new set of tracks, fantastic! “Who’s they?” BARON CRÂNE and their latest release “Les Beaux Jours”. I remember vividly the first time I heard of Baron Crâne, through their first EP and the track “Stoner AD”. This clever mix of stoner rock and jazz in a proggy math-rock setting felt so fresh yet so organic. I fell in love and for months I spread the word everywhere around me. Since then, the band released another EP as well as their first album and I must confess that I sometimes got a bit lost in all their experiments. Of course, with each new opus comes hope, excitement and a bit of fear as to what I’ll be listening to.
No need for detours here, “Les Beaux Jours” is just an epic success. The band is mixing even broader influences and treat us to crazy ideas while bringing back the syncopated riffs and heaviness from their early days. With only 7 songs clocking in at 48 minutes total, we embark on some sort of esoterical journey without ever getting bored.
“Larry’s Journey” is by far the musical piece that struck me the most. With its destructured riffs, extremely well-crafted ambiances and a masterclass in songwriting, this is such a powerful track. Icing on the cake: the late 70’s early 80’s shredding fits in just perfectly. Hats off!
“Mercury” is more of a prog-jazz experiment sprinkled with saxophone, clarinets and other stereotypical jazz timbers. Luckily, it never loses the darkness and craziness the band got us accustomed to. Baron Crâne even goes as far as stepping into a reggae dub interlude with a psychedelic twist and a guitar solo reminiscent of an old Sega Genesis soundtrack. An incredible delivery taking us through many landscapes without ever losing its direction.
As often with instrumental bands, the album also features a few guest vocalists. “Quarantine” is a rather conventional and predictable song with vocals from Cyril Bodin. I regret that the track comes too early in the record, slightly interrupting the immersion and its impact.
It took me many listens to enjoy the almost too gentle album closer and eponymous track. If it perfectly alternates between the calm and the storm, Léo’s are so smooth and over mixed that it is a bit disturbing at first. Last but not least, I have to mention “Inner Chasm” for it’s a full nostalgia trip back to the syncopations and more straightforward sound of their first efforts. It’s a great trademark Baron Crâne delivery, and the Them Crooked Vultures-ish bridge is something I just can’t refuse.
“Les beaux jours” translates into “the sunny days” and Baron Crâne seems to have a lot of these waiting ahead of them. Offering us, once again, a very audacious and adventurous album without ever forgetting their roots and foundations, the band proves, again, how full of talent they are.
Last modified: 16 December 2021