Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Patrick Stolley, Brad Kopplin and Jess Gagnon
A band of francophones is proving itself hard not to love out amongst all of the English, the English lovers and their egos, who feel that the best is the best, and that their version of universality - a language that speaks for everyone, the language of business worldwide - will always reign supreme. Maybe they're right or maybe they're not. It's safe to say that it won't be the French language doing all of those things for all of those people. No one ever stands up for French. The language of love is seen as a one-trick pony - great for amore and bad for everything else - no offense French.
Montreal's Malajube, five fellows who refuse to be globalized/Americanized or bent to follow in the defeated path of all other French speakers wishing to catch a break in rock and roll, once thought about converting and following the sheep, but they stuck to their Sigur Ros-like guns and embraced their native language for all that it was worth. When they released their second album -- Trompe l'oeil -- late last fall, they were the immediate darlings of the CMJ festival in New York City and the passionate intricacies of their elaborate sound dreams - which can make you feel as if you're spotting new lands and landscapes from the low-to-the-ground motorcycle side car at times, with the colors pulsing across your glassy eyeballs, and they can make you feel dizzy all of the time. They pack immeasurable dimensions into their music and rely on the natural connectivity of music to the ear - attractive in millions of combinations.
Held together with lyrics that 90-percent of all who listen don't comprehend shears away all pretense and grinds the grain down to the bare necessity - hearing something that we like. These songs are able to speak in more languages when they do this. Lead singer Julien Mineau says, "My lyrics are pretty vague and fucked up. Maybe that's not the right word - fucked up - but they're like that. They're not straight-forward. A song could be about love or it could be about the doctor when he's performing and operation on you." We contend that lyrics are better when they're fucked up - in any language - but when you can't understand them, they're even better. We're out here making up our own ideas about the medical emergencies these songs are about and we're throwing them into soundtracks and situations for whatever we deem fitting for them. It's the raw material that we're given, but it's just as finished as any piece of music should be. Malajube opens up imaginations, cracks them with a screwdriver and a hammer right at the hinges and pries them apart and just tells them to be back by sundown or dinner, whichever is first. Then they can go back out and play.