Recently I’ve found it pretty difficult to sit down and write something about music I’ve been listening to. I’ve either convinced myself the words I write are pointless, or I just do something else instead. There’s probably a bunch of reasons why I’ve been doing this, and probably a main one is me after years of putting it off, finally committing to watching American Horror Story. This is what having too much spare time has done, and I’m fine with it. But anyway, more importantly I’ve accidentally found a band that I am sure to become obsessed with, and that band is J’ai Peur Des Crabes (I think it translates as ‘I am scared of crabs’ which is a fully justifiable fear.)
Hailing from Montreal, well…that’s all I can tell you. There’s virtually nothing about them online aside from their Bandcamp and Facebook page. There’s not much for me to go on, but that’s alright. I’ll make it work. The music speaks for itself anyway. I have no idea if it is one person or a bunch of musicians, but what I do know is that this is some of the finest Garage Rock I’ve heard of late. There is something really exceptional about them, and with two records into their career-it pretty safe to say that they are the best band you’ve not really heard of. In an ideal world, they’d be huge and everyone would know them. That’s not the case right now, but there’s time.
J’ai Peur Des Crabes are like The Doors running head first into Jack White’s guitar with The Pretty Things and The Vagrants waiting for them with open arms. But there’s more to it, there’s a lot more bite to their sound. They are unapologetically loud and they fully show this on the song Pierre-François which isn’t even 2 minutes long. There’s this brilliant kick to it, and so far I’m calling it as my favourite song by them. I just want to listen to it on repeat for hours. It’s the last song on their first release, MAAAAD which came out in November last year.
Last week, they released Cocobongo which consists of five songs that step away from MAAAAD. There’s a wilder sound to this record. It’s like The Cramps and The Mummies got together and created this beautiful monster. If you’ve heard of London based Night Shades then you’ll love J’ai Peur De Crabes. There’s this excellent Psychobilly sound that has a strong Garage Rock backbone, and it’s addictive. They’re the kind of band I could happily play over and over, and not get bored. City Walls is a song that reminds me slightly of Dream Baby Dream by one of my all time favourites, Suicide. There’s something haunting but beautiful about the song. I think it’s the intro and the way the song is sung more than anything. It’s a beautiful song, and it is most definitely one of the highlights of the record, especially when the guitar kicks in during the last minute and this wealth of urgency and fury takes the band over, especially the vocals. For me, it’s probably my favourite on this record but of course with more listens I’ll change my mind.
Writing about a band I know nothing about is sometimes tough, but in this instance it didn’t feel so bad. The fact that there’s virtually nothing about them on the internet adds to the mystery. I don’t know if it’s because they are still pretty new or they just don’t need to be everywhere in order to be heard. Well, whatever their reasons are is none of my business anyway. I love the music, and I can’t wait to hopefully hear more from them.
There’s something really interesting about their sound, and they just make you feel as if you’ve been listening to them for years and years. Partially familiar but also a world away from what you know. If a band can make you feel like that so early on, then you’ve found one of the great ones.