[sic] Magazine

Combomatix – Chinese Songs For Bad Boys

The French garage scene just keeps on giving. Combomatix are two young reprobates from Rennes and the questionably titled Chinese Songs For Bad Boys is their second LP of psychedelically charged garage-punk. Bare-bones to the point of guitar fuzz and drums, there’s no messing about either. Only two tracks tip the scales at three minutes, each of Chinese Songs’ superior running order a combination of jagged hooks and jittery 60s Nuggets.

Super snotty in places, it’s as catchy as the flu as well and you’re just as likely to need a sweaty week in bed to recover, too. Bashing away like a migraine, the drums roll like digs to the kidney on “Another Shakin” for example. The dumb-but-fun single, “I’m On It”, is in turn slightly more sociable, yet it still comes at you gums and knuckles bleeding.

Medical metaphors aside, Chinese Songs is consistently good fun. It revels in its lo-fi limitations and would definitely lose some of its direct charm if it got too cosy in a studio. Right on cue, the organ on second single “Never Cut The Wire” peaks in the red deliciously with Charles Samson’s guitar. “Guinea Pig” is similarly scrappy stuff, the sort of fist-pumping, underdog thing you pray to stumble across in your local dive venue under a shower of cheap lager.

Samson’s unhinged wail is cut with the contemporary boogie of a band like Black Lips and there’s a particularly metallic jangle and pop to proceedings throughout that wills those with shaggy fringes to bob them around wildly. Messy surf motifs decorate the competing rhythms too, fuzzy stompers frequently winding themselves into a frenzy. One man’s trash truly is another man’s treasure. Never has the adage been more apt.

~Chinese Songs For Bad Boys is released March 5th 2016 via the collaborative efforts of Howlin Banana and Retard Records.~