Brutal Cherie - Cours ou Creve (Cover Artwork)

Brutal Cherie

Cours ou Creve (2012)

L'Ecurie Musique

One of my favorite bands between 2003 and 2009 was a power—punk trio from Montréal called Sexhead. They were relatively unknown and only played smaller shows around Québec and Ontario, so those outside this geographic region will likely draw a complete blank. In existence since 1997, they independently released a couple of items including the album I Abuse that to this day contains the best cover song I've ever heard – "Daddy Is My Pusher" – originally an obscure piano—based piece from the 1970s avant—garde Dutch punk band called Tits, redone as a blasting power chord attack. After the band went silent for a few years, I assumed Sexhead was done. However, in 2012 they resurfaced under the title Brutal Chérie and abandoned all of their previously released songs in English for a new set entirely in French.

Cours ou Crève represents a rebirth for the band, who play fast, down stroke power riffs in the vein of Candy Snatchers or Action Swingers; a style that I personally enjoy but wholly acknowledge will lead to almost zero commercial success. In terms of how this album sounds, the layer—upon—layer of added guitar tracks to the mix really makes things boom and the production value is excellent for those who still believe in punk rock being as loud as possible. The vocals are clear, crisp and entirely en Français, so grab your French—English dictionary from high school if you care to translate the lyrics. The songs carry a frantic pace with plenty of crashing and banging going on; "Trop Souvent Envie de Mourir," "Je Ne Suis Pas Comme Tous Les Autres" and "Baby, Bébé!" are the standouts for me. Upon my first couple of listens, the first half of the album and most notably the title track didn't move me as much in comparison to the second half, so I think the record as a whole gets stronger as it moves along and a true sense of urgency can be felt by the end. But if I had to pick on some shortcomings here, I would say a couple of the earlier tracks should be even faster and probably the whole French thing just won't ring any bells south of the border.

Sometimes it really pays off to check out a band you've never heard of. Cours ou Crève has the strength to be a winner in the books of anyone with a preference for fast punk songs. But if you live somewhere your books are only in English then you might have un problème.