[sic] Magazine

The Limiñanas – Malamore

It’s no coincidence that Lionel and Marie Limiñana’s latest LP, Malamore, has the look of a classic movie. Its title is taken from an Italian erotic film for starters and the album’s narrative arc includes police chases and tiki bars, charting also its characters’ mixed successes in love to a definitive conclusion. The record’s sleeve, too, on which The Limiñanas pose against the side of a 50s Airstream caravan decked out in sepia tones and sunglasses, is framed like promotional material, its garish lettering a clear tribute to the industry as well. Real life screen legends Robert Mitchum and Robert Duvall even get a name-check on the gloriously retro title-track, its jangles and fuzz-tones combining like a Bobby Gillespie wet-dream – a trick repeated on the melodic “Dahlia Rouge 2” despite it kicking off to the sound of a motorcycle’s engine.

Malamore’s super-cool running order rolls like an iconic score accordingly, its vintage psychedelia not so outré as to reject influence from the likes of Serge Gainsbourg, Morricone and – more unexpectedly, perhaps – Peter Hook, who contributes chorus vocals and his iconic bass skills on “Garden Of Love” – a sleepy, snare-driven stream of motorik that’s as lush as anything coming out of the Death And Vanilla stable. Further fleshing out the Perpignan duo’s vision on this, their fourth album, is a cast of many. Mixed-language vocals are predominantly shared between drummer Marie and bassist Lionel, his a sultry spoken word à la chanson Française, hers a heavily-accented and sexy coo more common to dream-pop and the works of Jane Birkin – the pair abetted elsewhere by singer-friends both male and female.

The range of Malamore is often dizzying. Slow-moseying Western twanging becomes a natural bedfellow for blissful rockabilly that Tarantino will be guaranteed to crowbar into some dusty desert scene sometime soon. Laurent Sales’ bouzouki strings add a heady dose of exotica alongside woodblock percussion and Eastern grooves. Strutting 60s melodies are ground out to the sound of swirling organ distortion. “Paradise Now” leans on artsy, Stereolab-style lounge-pop. The dizzying then turns suffocating on a hypnotic track like “Zippo”, Nicolas Delseny’s acid-friend, proto-punk sludge played at mid-distance so Lionel Limiñana’s evocative whisper isn’t lost. The hyper-visual “The Dead Are Walking” earlier plays similarly but at half-speed, the dead risen by its seductive lurch and sticky downers.

Funky wah wah dominates the album’s second side, sweet shred beefing up the celluloid for a big finale that comes via the crazy capers of “The Train Creep a-Loopin” – a blaxploitation instrumental heavy on repeats as promised by its title, gnarly soloing coming in to muddy guest-songwriter Pascal Comelade’s intentions. And, as its credits roll, you finally shuffle back from the edge of your seat, return your jaw to its upright position and try to take in all you’ve just experienced. So cool it is of course hot, Malamore is the soundtrack to the life you wish you’d led.

Best track: “Malamore”

~Malamore is released 22nd April 2016 via Because Music.~