recorded Sep 2003/Mar 2004
1. Janet Puritanic
2. The Future Is Missing
3. Yankee's Troubled Birth
5. Visceral Path
6. Show Of Strength
8. Black/Blue Ink
Bêtes Noires EPs 1 & 2 (Demo)
English language is a strange animal. The literal French
meaning of 'bêtes noires' is the darkly demonic 'black
beasts', but the English translation is the comparatively
sweet-sounding 'pet hates'. So what sort of creature are
this Belfast trio? Is their music laden with satanic overtones
or does it veer towards the lighter end of the musical spectrum?
up-tempo opener 'Janet Puritanic' inflicts an instant blast
of dirty garage rock with Paul McIver's powerful vocals
and a mosh-inducing hook but, like all of the tracks on
offer here, it retains an undeniable pop-edged accessibility.
'The Future Is Missing' is a lighter affair, combining jangling
guitar with a shimmering chorus from alternate frontman
Simon Kelly that shines so brightly you can almost feel
the sun on your face if you shut your eyes for a moment.
Almost every track has at least one element to prick up
your ears and imprint itself on your mind, a rare exception
being posturing plodder 'Show Of Strength'.
influences are clear for all to hear, the Pearl
Jam-style power-grunge of 'Yankee's Troubled Birth',
a touch of Smashing Pumpkins' quiet/loud
drama on 'Clean', but the band the Bêtes Noires appear
to aspire to most are Ash. This is most
apparent on the smiling, fast-paced pogo-hop of 'Visceral
Path', though in spite of the obvious inspiration from Tim
Wheeler (who the band have recently supported) and co, its
spirited, carefree attitude means it manages to stand on
its own two feet admirably.
music is driven and lively and the production virtually
faultless, but while they would blow away many aspiring
bands on the small stage, they may need to add that all
important je ne sais quoi to their sound to successfully
break into the big time - at present they are not unique
in what they do but they do it very well. Yet to even talk
about the Bêtes Noires in such terms is a credit to
them, there are signed bands out there with far less inspiration
and many of these songs would sound perfectly at home on
are certainly worth keeping an eye on and this free CD is
well worth blagging or downloading from their website so
you can hear this energetic, not to mention highly professional,
demo for yourself.