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Everybody Was in the French Resistance...Now - Fixin' the Charts: Volume One

  by Chris O'Toole

published: 17 / 2 / 2010

Everybody Was in the French Resistance...Now - Fixin' the Charts: Volume One
Label: Cooking Vinyl
Format: CD


Shallow and throwaway debut album album from Everybody Was in the French Resistance...Now, which in reworking several popular standards veers close to parody

Perhaps Morrissey said it best: “That joke just isn’t funny anymore…” For a brief moment Eddie Argos became the zeitgeist he longed to describe, parody and subvert. As the front man of post-post-modern rockers Art Brut, Argos burned a herd of sacred cows; with early highlights - including 'Formed a Band' and 'Modern Art' – ranking up there among the best tracks of the last decade and propelling the group to fame among the very people the group sought to modestly cajole. But two subsequent albums failed to reach the same heights, forcing Argos to turn his attentions to new project; Everybody Was in the French Resistance…Now! With new foil Dyan Valdés (of American rockers the Blood Arm) joining on guitar, the group offer 12 responses to popular standards, contorting the lyrics with tongue firmly in cheek. So, for example, 'Coal Digger' becomes a response to 'Gold Digger' by Kanye West, 'The Scarborough Affaire' answers the traditional 'Scarborough Fair', while 'Billie’s Genes'… well, you get the picture. And while not an out and out novelty album – Argos would never put his name to something so one dimensional – 'Fixin’ the Charts: Volume One' veers dangerously close on any number of occasions. While joined by a full cast – David Newton on guitar and bass, Nick Amoroso on drums, Louis Castle on trumpet and Bekki Newton providing backing vocals – each of the tracks here sounds shrill, shallow and throwaway. Some wry one-liners stick in the memory – "Bouffant hair and jeans too tight/Handing out fliers for his electro night/Thinks he’s in a film/But if he was it would go?Even Nowadays" straight to video - but as the tracks cascade past, the music fails to maintain the requisite interest required to enjoy Argos’s virtual monologues. As a result it is hard to imagine a moment when one might reach for this record. An A-level student looking for a contemporary introduction to a history presentation? A local radio DJ looking for a novel way to celebrate a more obscure war anniversary? Hardly very encouraging demographics. Perhaps the standout is 'He’s A "Rebel"’, a response to 'He’s a Rebel' by the Crystals. Moving the scene to east London in the present decade, Argos lampoons would be scene stealing hipsters, exposing them for the vapid, empty fashion victims they are. But overall the in jokes here fall flat and, despite its historical moniker, it is difficult to imagine the record dating well. At all. Download it, play it once and file it away.

Track Listing:-
1 Creque Allies
2 G.I.R.L.F.R.E.N. (You Know I've Got A)
3 (I'm So) Waldo P. Emerson Jones
4 The Scarborough Affaire
5 Billy's Genes
6 Think Twice (It's Not Alright)
7 Hey! It's Jimmy Mack
8 He's a Rebel
9 Coal Digger
10 My Way (Is Not Always the Best Way)
11 Superglue
12 Walk Alone

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