[sic] Magazine

Poni Hoax – Images Of Sigrid

‘Chunky Music’

The French have persistently had a bad reputation when it comes to music usually preferring insular poetics over commercial nous. Sure, there are a few English-language examples to be found here and there in our Anglo-Saxon collections, plenty of instrumental dance for us to get our cheese-loving teeth into. And now and then, be it French or English language, a real gem crops up from l’Hexagon. Some laud Phoenix’s current pop, others admire Plasticines’ pop-rock, more their collective hemline. Nevertheless, more still ought to be entranced with Paris’s Poni Hoax, owners of one of the tracks of 2006 in the dark-disco form of ‘Budapest’.

Much has been made of Poni Hoax’s 80s Ital-disco influences, but they are some distance from the suggestive squelch of last year’s Glass Candy success and the effortless cool of associated act Chromatics. Post-punk is as valid a genre comparison as contorting disco. The generic, non-angular gloom of that genre hangs spectre-like throughout, whiffing at times of The Cure’s most miserable output, for we must not forget the French’s love of all things Smith. Nicolas Ker often drawls from the Paul Bank’s book of Ian Curtis aping.

Even The Rapture’s funky, now possibly dated, take on punk is evoked on ‘My Own Private Vietnam’. All that is missing in the conspicuously absent cowbell. ‘The Bird Is On Fire’ is much more reminiscent of forgotten disco, all climbing sequences, nodding beats and saxophone cameo. Both The Cure and New Order are brought to mind during the dark-eyed shimmer of ‘Pretty Tall Girls’. But it is the single, ‘Antibodies’ that is most likely of success, part She Wants Revenge spoken doom, part Air ambient theatrics and, miraculously, part Utah Saints’ ‘Funky Music’..

In fairness, Images Of Sigrid shelters some very choice growths, but these are stuck in a criminally overweight and quaggy mire of mediocrity. The 13-minute finale is little more than a nail in the coffin for poor Sigrid, an album which without its inclusion still nudges the hour mark. A strict diet of coffee and cigarettes and Sigrid could be fit for the catwalk.

Listen and learn