It’s not easy to migrate lyrics originally written by punk souls. Just for that, Quebecers Noé Talbot and Dominic Pelletier (Caravane, The Hunters) deserve respect. Another remark: they obviously worked hard to create arrangements inspired by the music of the eight pieces chosen to create Reprise acoustiques, vol. 2. Although this process of appropriation is worthwhile, some punk fans will grouse when listening to aggro anthems reworked for a much softer, melancholic register. But hey, that was the point of the exercise. The music-lover stuck on obstinate comparison between the old and the recent, without estimating the value of the new offerings of the two compatriots, will have grasped little of their approach. As the members of the duo explain, the aim of this punk-rock transformation into acoustic French versions is to share the selected tracks with a wider audience. “Moving away from the original tracks while keeping the soul of each: this is the essence of this collaboration between two longtime friends,” it’s written somewhere in a short promo text. That’s it. We can still point out that some of the songs are similar to the originals, like Thrice’s “A Song for Milly Michaelson” and Frank Turner’s “Good & Gone”. Other songs, including those of legendary punk bands Blink-182 and No Use for a Name, are more altered. As a result, the quality of the new proposals varies greatly from one to another. Despite some disappointments, including their new version of the excellent “Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas” by American band Beach Slang, the album is a good listening experience. Hot Water Music’s “Drag My Body” is quite successful, even if the Quebecer’s voice is much less rocky and torn than that of original singer Chuck Ragan. Take note that Talbot and Pelletier covered a song from Montreal’s punk icons The Sainte Catherines as well.
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