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BB Brunes – Bang Bang in your ears

December 6, 2010

One of my loves at first listen,
Not only because Adrien Gallo, the guitarist/singer is drop dead gorgeous. (No, no, I promise.) Whatever people say, he’s got a little something, un je ne sais quoi in his voice, and in his way of composing his music. He’s got what the songwriter Serge Gainsbourg used to have, the ability of playing with words, using two-ways phrases referring to sex, or private jokes in a poetic way though! (French speakers, pay attention to the lyrics and see yourself.) Adrien’s writing reflects the emotions and the distress of a whole generation. I would say, correct me if I’m wrong, he is a contemporary budding writer but sounds as if he was a writer since the mists of time. He handles words with self confidence and it does totally work.

BB Brunes – Lala Love You

BB Brunes are the bee’s knees! They are massive in France. Unfortunately, too many teenage girls are too obsessed by their beauty and can’t see their talent. The worst part is that it makes other people hate them because the only thing they see are a “feather-brained young girl’s band”. Trust me, they’re worth more than this label that people keep sticking on them. In my opinion, their main strength is their naïve/ingenuous rock which bounces live!

So, I guess it is the right time to write a little note about BB Brunes, as they just released their English EP “Nico Teen Love Session” which is truly ace! Very good indeed. (Give a special listen to “I’m a lady”.)

Well, I’m gonna tell you how I randomly discovered them. It happened on a Winter’s morning of 2007, I was listening to the independent local radio “Le Mouv”, when I heard the first broadcasting of “Le Gang”, BB Brunes’ first single. I immediately fell in love with their sound, effervescent guitars, riotous tempos and nimble melodies.
The reason I wanted to introduce you to this talented quartet, is because for me they appeared as a breath of modernity and freshness. I have seen them three times live, was awesoooome!

Okay, now, just so you know, I’m going to start the “maybe boring part”, a brief summary of their biography.
The French band BB Brunes is the cream of the crop of the “New French rock scene”. They are based in Paris, like most of the baby rockers’ bands. They formed in 2000 with the name of Hangover, and were writing exclusively in English. When Adrien Gallo was young, through Jimi Hendrix and a bit of gipsy jazz, he discovered what rock music was. He always fancied having his own sound. They played a lot in Paris in different venues and sometimes outside without any amps or with crappy damaged ones. When they were about to sign a contract with Kurtis Productions in 2006, the bassist freaked out and left the band. They found a new one, Felix Hemmen, a few gigs later they changed their name to BB Brunes.
It comes from the Serge Gainsbourg song “Initial BB”, and the Boulevard Brune where they used to rehearse in Paris. Their musical influences are garage/rock bands from the 60’s but for the writing part, Adrien is mainly influenced by Gainsbourg, who made him realise that a good song could be written in French. As their first album “Blonde comme moi” sounded like being perfect for live situations, for the first year they mainly played at the Gibus, a famous venue in Paris for the “Rock’n’roll Fridays”.

I would like to come back to my personal opinion and talk about the second album “Nico Teen Love”, which is the one I want to make you discover. According to me, it proves they reached another level. They passed the decisive stage of the second album. And as everybody knows, it is the most difficult. BB Brunes managed to do something different and even better than the vibrating first album without losing what were their qualities. Moreover, I think their new friendship with the band Music is not fun (who have a real passion for England) influenced them to add some Britishness to their music. I’m sure that English people would say the opposite, that they sound very French but hey, I am the one who is talking right now! If you focus on a few songs with powerful, easy riffs, you can hear the sound of bands like the Libertines as an example.
However, the typical rock songs you could find on “Blonde comme moi”, these are instantaneous 3 minutes of inspiring rhythms, sounds a bit more advanced, refined and mature.
Adrien’s voice has also evolved and proves he is as comfortable in high notes shouted savagely as he is in sensual basses.
What we have to remember is that BB Brunes are 4 musicians full of enthusiasm, elegance and charisma.

As a highlight on one of the tracks, I suggest you to listen attentively to “Lala Love you”, first of all because it’s the same title of one of the Pixies’ songs and then because it’s the best lyrics of the album. It’s about what a load of international couples live. It talks about a French boy who is in love with an English girl and struggles to express his feelings in a language which is not his. “J’expire un Shakespeare trés français.”

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