[sic] Magazine

Kaviar Special – #2

Having travelled around Europe in no small measure, it comes as zero surprise that the city of Rennes, France proves a fertile breeding-ground for kick-ass garage bands. A vibrant college town that rarely comes alive ‘til after midnight, it also has one of the continent’s finest record shops in Groove (situated just off the Rue le Bastard – we shit you not). Proving the conveyor belt of talent, [sic] has favourably covered local outfits The Madcaps, Baston and Combomatix in recent months alone and now comes the turn of Kaviar Special.

Forming when students of the aforementioned college, the four-piece make grooving rock ‘n’ roll in which supercharged garage-psych chug does the dirty work and strangled surf shimmer gives way to heavy fuzz and psychedelic solos. #2 is, unsurprisingly, the band’s second such collection and its eye-catching artwork was undertaken by Elzo Durt, the Belgian illustrator responsible also for La Femme‘s Psycho Tropical Berlin and Thee Oh Sees‘ iconic Carrion Crawler/The Dream. And, while there is a hint of the John Dwyers to be found here, many of #2’s twelve tracks are pretty dumb, truth be told. They’re ideal, though, for shotgunning a few beers in the sun and jumping around like an idiot – wild rock ‘n’ roll riffing helping to set Kaviar Special apart from, say, the snotty narcissism of skate-punk.

As such, the killer licks, barroom bounce and poppy vocal in opener “Starving” bring the likes of Black Lips to mind and there are flashes of a band like BRMC in the fast-paced “Sleep Thoughts”. Buzzing guitars are set to destroy throughout, hugely enjoyable riffs slashing apart a veil of distortion. Quickfire claps in “I Wouldn’t Touch You With A Stick” slap you around the track’s swelling peaks of feedback whereas “Mad” is a choppy frenzy, its flailing groove winding up for disaster – and you can really just feel the sweat-rain dripping down the walls as this one hits in a hot club. Continuing the strong titles, there’s a certain level of expectation that comes with a track name like “Mind Fuck” and true to form it houses a strut and pout deserving of Jagger, the track’s poppy tumble of hooks elsewhere sounding not unlike someone like the Runaways.

For all their rock muscle, though, Kaviar Special also know the power of restraint and the reverbed acoustics of “Yolove” turn in a sunny little stoner ditty, neat finger work firing off fireworks in time to the chorus. In fact, such is the strong melody here that it comes off as the album’s single-most takeaway – a modern, youthful embrace of a culture that existed long before Kaviar Special were born and, with the continued release of quality material like this, one that will hopefully help plant the seed for the next generation after it comes time for these players to hang up their axes. Vive la France.

~#2 is out now via Howlin’ Banana.~