Peter Walker

Re:Union | Louis XIV – The Best Little Secrets Are Kept

Re:Union

Whatever happened to rock and roll?  Many have hailed the last few years of emerging bands as the rebirth of rock, but I mean the wider sense of the phrase, guitar music from the days when bands had some real attitude, some raw energy and capacity for rebellion on and off stage.  With the possible exception of that wanker Pete Docherty and a few notable others nobody came near Zepplin, the Doors or Hendrix anymore, that was until I witnessed a little band by the name of Louis XIV, at T in the Park this year.

Now these boys had what I was looking for, three slightly androgynous men all equipped with guitars, dirty, raw sounding riffs that pushed the PA to its limits, and some songs and lyrics that brought back the days when men were still on top.  And its this old school attitude that makes the difference, the album has all the musical components of your BRMC’s and Kaiser Chief’s but the lyrical content and delivery are fantastically chauvinistic and obscene.  The band hail from San Diego, but sound more like the Who or the Stones, in the way they keep things simple, raw and loud.  But just like their enigmatic forefathers they juxtapose the sexist banter with choruses sung in wonderfully camp tones on some of the best tracks ‘Finding Out True Love is Blind’ and ‘A Letter to Dominique’, only reinforcing the tongue in check style that permeates the whole album.

There are only ten tracks but they manage to pack in more in forty minutes than most do in double that, as I’ve already mentioned, some of it is absolute filth (Pledge of Alliegance), but later songs are more reserved, at least vocally, and reveal considerable musical substance and skill.

Louis XIV deserve to be as big as any of the bands I have mentioned, but I fear they’re wont be deemed acceptable for many radio playlists, and judging by the media witch hunt a model taking coke can bring, I have a feeling that the behaviour that was tolerated, nay, worshipped, in the 60’s would kill them off completely.

Then again they might just inspire a bit more manly old school posturing from the current pretenders.  Here’s hoping.