Relative newbies on the Parisian garage scene, Os Noctàmbulos have just dropped their debut album. Louder Than War’s Craig Chaligne reviews.
Os Noctàmbulos have become a fixture in the Parisian garage scene. Formed late in 2012, the quartet have been gigging constantly in the French Capital and made a successful appearance at The Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia in September 2013. The band headed by Sheffield born musician Nick Wheeldon was formed following his relocation to France. Coline Presley, bass player in Nick’s former outfit The Jesus Loves Heroin Band stayed on board and they were joined by Valentin Buchens on lead guitar (former bandmate of Coline in Le Mans Surf Rock combo Elvis…) and Baldo on drums (artist and an enduring presence on the garage scene in Paris).
They have just released their first album Corsica Gardens recorded last year in Baldo’s home studio in Massy Palaiseau, it could have also been recorded in Los Angeles in 1965. Strongly reminiscent of bands you could find on The Nuggets compilation, it will please any Seeds fan with Valentin channeling his inner Jan Savage on most of the tracks. Nick’s powerful vocals set them apart from the legion of garage bands on circuit nowadays with the rhythm section of Coline and Baldo doing a fine job with some really nice bass parts courtesy of Coline (the one on opening number Forever for example). The band wear their influence on their sleeves (Song For Olivier) but the execution is so good that they pull it off. There are some subtle touches like the organ on It Scares Me and Wild that show that although recorded over a short period of time, great care was put in the sonic texture of the record. The band members past endeavors are not forgotten with the instrumental Polly honoring Coline and Valentin’s former project. The album closes with a song that differs slightly in style from its companions, Walk On with its guitar arpeggios and organ “a la” House Of The Rising Sun prove that the band is far from a one trick pony and might venture in different territories on further recordings.
Os Noctàmbulos’ first album has just been released on 12” vinyl by Evil Hoodoo and can be purchased here. The band can also be found on BandCamp and Facebook.
All words by Craig Chaligne. More of Craig’s work for Louder Than War can be found in his author’s archive .