Eclectic and atmospheric vintage alt-country from French quartet Cold Cold Blood.
Limoges singer-songwriter, bassist, and guitarist Fabien Bréart is a musical DIY hero in France. He played bass in the raucous garage rock band The Lost Communists (2009-2011), who wore matching Red Army uniform costumes, before embarking on his solo project I Am A Band after seeing Texan “The Dirty Old One Man Band” Scott H. Biram perform in Limoges. With his side project Cold Cold Blood, he and his band continue to explore various aspects of Americana.
Cold Cold Blood released two albums on local label I Love Limoges, ‘From Mud to Blood’ (2015) and the more rock-oriented ‘The Mess’ (2019), the latter featuring a Jeffrey Lee Pierce cover (‘Mother of Earth’). ‘In Cold Cold Blood’ has more in common stylistically with ‘From Mud to Blood’ and its moody, sometimes spooky soundscapes. By contrast, on the album cover is a vintage Wheeler and Wilson advertisement illustration of, what else, a frog in a tutu dancing on a tightrope.
While there are pockets of non-Francophone devotees of quirky French pop music all over the world, Americana seems to be oblivious to all borders. French artists fiercely defend their culture and language while influenced by music from elsewhere – just look at Renaud and La Maision Tellier.
On ‘In Cold Cold Blood’ Bréart is joined by his band: Alfred Dixon on drums, Aurélien Terrade on keyboards, Theremin (yes, Theremin), and guitar, and Nicolas Carlier on bass. The EP’s four classic-seeming, atmospheric songs sometimes sound like a dramatic moment from an Ennio Morricone-scored western film (‘Lockdown Blues,’ ‘It Hurts’) or an unsettling story being told by Neil Young (‘In Cold Cold Blood’). ‘Leaf By the Window’ is a skipping, lush, dark alt-country song that could have been from the early ‘60s Joe Meek era if Meek had produced a Johnny Cash song.
If Quentin Tarantino’s tenth and supposedly final film turns out to be a western, it wouldn’t be surprising if Cold Cold Blood appears on 90% of the soundtrack, even if Bréart decides to really rock out again like he did on the band’s previous release. Either way, their music is an interesting, unique interpretation of Americana from a European perspective.