We Only Said – s/t

We Only Said - s/t

While listening to track one, “Our Monochrome Life”,  I said to myself, “I cannot review this”.  My reasoning being that a few seconds after pressing play I am at a loss for words, or the “right” words perhaps? How could one possibly capture the beauty that I hear with We Only Said.  This is out of left field, if left field is Rennes, France.

The group’s self titled album was produced by Bob Weston of Shellac fame and is a perfect soundtrack to every memory of love, warmth, beauty, sadness, hope, and smile you can remember. It begins with “Our Monochrome Life”,  a song we can compare to the meaning of the world and the two line up in perfect harmony. Our life is that of many shades all forming into one and this surrealist vision that is all too fitting. This first track, with its “in a trance” like emotion, just seeps from the pores. Track two, “I Discover The Murder”, starts much like someone’s desolate stare over a desert with the sun rising into a mirage. Vocalist Florian Marzanos’ low and trembling voice soothes all unnerving thoughts out of the title’s inclination. The song moves into a My Bloody Valentine’s “Only Shallow” realm with a piercing finale that seems to grow louder as the track fades.

“Driving My Car” – with its Jose Gonzalez like introduction – is a dual vocal, spook filled three minutes. “Looking for her, car crash. I close my eyes, lies”.  Guitarists Marzano and Mathias Prime exchange the proverbial dance that springs and shoots out of these tiny speakers and into my spine. With a rushing jaunt we slide into track four, “Get Out Freakie”. Mathieu Languille takes the helm on the trap set here and is magical in his timing, tapping, and intricate rhythms that back “Get Out Freakie” with everything it deserves. I can imagine We Only Said live, standing still under soft lights entrancing the crowd. A build up in the last seconds leaves us screaming like Thurston Moore at Reading Festival 1991, on his back, tearing into his guitar with a drum stick. It’s like the front row seat explosion you feel from a Charles Peterson photograph.

“Go Rotten” jumps in next with a haunting piano intensely skipping behind. This is constant throughout the song, building and building and then leaving. On its way out as soon as it walks through the door, “Go Rotten” is drama filled and gives you goosebumps like only the best thriller can. Jandek, the Houston, Texas recluse, would shudder at the sound of “Cheerful Girl”. Underneath this three and a half minute ambient number is a bit of a harsh crackle that’ll leave you wincing and in a state of breathlessness. Florian and the boys are “trying to say goodbye”.

What a bummer of a title we have here on track seven, “Your Drab Eyes” – fortunately the song doesn’t give off the feeling of anything remotely close to dull, cheerless, or lacking in spirit. Rather, a faint piano introduces us to an overwhelming sadness such as a death in the family or that of a friend who you never said goodbye to properly the last time you spoke. Grey and lacking in color, yes this is defiantly a spot-on match that maybe would settle a little better somewhere else, but not in this song. Keeping with the overall feeling of wonderment and beauty, “That Evening We Were Alone Together” is a romantic serenade of only the most sincere kind. Short and ever so sweet clocking in at just over two minutes, not much is said and not much is needed. The bass pulses in and out of my headphones on “Killjoy” and with squinting eyes I crouch my head. The off-putting snare drum time signature only adds to my awkwardness. A tirade of instrumentation coupled with a screaming, treble heavy solo make “Killjoy” a stand out track among this 10 song masterpiece. I am reminded of kitchen talk with the title of the last track, “Eighty-Sixed”. Again beginning with piano and a barely distorted guitar or guitars. “I feel eighty-sixed”, Florian breathes out in the opening lines, and we collectively feel the same. Another crescendo and we are thrust yet again into this powerful entity that is We Only Said.

In the words of the legendary Morrissey on track four of 2008’s Years Of Refusal: “I’m throwing my arms around Paris”.

Brad Tilbe About Brad Tilbe

I am 35 years old. I was born and raised in Central New York. I currently reside in Seattle, WA.