AMANDA WOODWARD « Discographie » CD
Pressing : 1000 in Jewel case, including 50 in limited cardboard sleeve (+1000 in the US).
1. A L’Assault – 2. Sans Vie.Com – 3. La Prospérité – 4. On Les Aura Bien Plombé Les Yéyés – 5. Amanda Woodward – 6. Un Autre Con – 7. Bomber Le Show-Biz – 8. Trop De Gens Qu’On Mal A Mon Crâne – 9. Mange-Ton-Disque – 10. Il Nous Reste Les Caillasses – 11. La Perte – 12. La Poussière Et La Cendre – 13. L’Air Du Temps – 14. Ultramort
« I first heard Amanda Woodward on college radio, two winters ago. The Pleine de Grace single had just been released and the dj’s were going nuts, airing the song almost every hour. I asked around about the band, and was told, briefly, “French hardcore.” It’s tempting to leave it at that when discussing Amanda Woodward; but their unique sound, in the end, defies any such attempts at genre-or-nation-pigeonholing.
Like some of my favorite hardcore albums–I’m thinking of Rodan’s Rusty, or City of Caterpillar’s self-titled–Amanda Woodward let the fury of their songs unfurl slowly, keeping a tight balance between passion and restraint. The first song on their discography is called A L’Assaut (is a translation even necesssary?), and the pummeling of sound is brutal. At the same time, though–and this is where things start to get interesting–this assault is produced with very simple arrangements: a driving rhythm, tearing vocals, and–often–a single, crisp guitar line that rolls almost gently beneath the screaming fury. Guitar solos are frequent, and maintain a sense of pacing throughout the songs–the overall sound is hard and fast, but the guitar interludes break up the vocal intensity.
The discography combines the songs from three different releases, and the later songs, from the Ultramort 12?, follow the time-honored punk tradition of sampling from movies and speeches. The sampling creates a more layered sound, and also makes for longer songs that cycle through loud and soft, exploring the range of a single riff. The samples also introduce some English into the songs, which brings to mind the question of languages.
Language is clearly an issue with this band; I took high school French, but no class could adequately educate me in the vocabulary of France’s hardcore bands. (How do you say “corroding-liberal-facismectomy”?) The discography does include lyric translations, which, as far as I can tell, seem to be pretty accurate. The songs center around larger cultural and political trends, all of which transcend any one country–one of the titles, for instance, translates to lifeless.com. It would be a mistake, though, to reduce Amanda Woodward to political commentary–it would be better to say that they generally sing about what makes them scream, and often, that’s politics/war/cultural alienation (to go through the first three songs). Check out Amanda Woodward if these things make you scream as well–the music is smart, the performance is tight, and the emotion is there. » (Artnoise)