Couleur Brique, third album released by Born Bad for one-man-operation Usé, opens with a coughing fit spurting on a piano, while a guitar gently dies in the back of a hangar. The connoisseur will rekindle fond memories of his underground hit “ampheta-amphéta- amphétamine”, this time to warn us about the “chef d’é, chef d’é, chef d’é-tat”. We won’t know what he had to spit about to the president, but he’s got some left on his trousers.
Usé literally punches songs, beating the snare drum to celebrate a lover that bites and claws. It’s mostly about boy-meets-girl and tough love in these seven romances that taste like beer chasing uppers, and end up in the back of a van.
Praise be, to the melodic effort, supported by layers of sharp and bitter synths, and a straightforward vocal performance. It’s a ride in forsaken land, beer in hand, documenting horny guys at the fun fair, late evenings in a shabby pub, and dirty sheets. Here and there, when least expected, flashes of unpretentious drunken wisdom hit the spot.
The record is fueled by the broken drummer’s energy, but also a verified writing effort. Those songs will be sung, bonded in the wastelands, to fight against buzzkill.
Once active in local politics, Nicolas Belvalette settled down for acting, recently starring in “Tout fout le camp” where he plays his own role. But he’s at his best on his turf, small rooms and scroungy festivals, where the great romantic weirdo spits on his tits, crawling under a raving audience. You’ll have to buy the record if you want to get the lyrics, because at a gig, it’s hard to follow when you’re busy figuring out whether it’s sweat, piss or beer that’s connecting you to your neighbor.
A fine collection of autumn tunes to get wasted, start a bar fight with new friends, and fall asleep on the counter with no shame.