Catalog ID: 1682
featured the talents of drummer Serge Baumer, bass player Jean-Claude Bertin,
former Moods singer André Chabloz, keyboardist Jacques Minary, and lead
guitarist Jean-Claude Tissot.
Originally released in 1969 by the French President label, their one and
only album "Dickens" showcased a largely original
collection of tunes that's been widely labeled as a lost French psych
classic. The band performed in both French and English, but be
forewarned their English was limited with Chabloz sounding like he had
learned the lyrics phonetically. It wasn't a big deal to me, but some folks
will find his heavy accent a source of irritation. That said, these guys
weren't half bad. They'd clearly had access to someone's extensive
record collection, witness the myriad of garage and psych influences
scattered across the LP, plus the fact they covered the US band Genesis
single 'Angeline' (reappearing with the title 'Ange De Lube'). Guitarist
Tissot didn't get a great deal of spotlight time, but he made the most of it
and the Baumer - Bertin was never less than steady. Yes, there was
some psych in these grooves (check out 'Genese' and 'Reve Et Fumee'), but
exemplified by tracks like 'Cataclysme', 'I Wanna Love You ', and 'Ain't Got
And That's Better' there was even more of a '60s US garage influence.
"Royal Incarnation" track listing:
1.) Cataclysme (Jean-Claude Bertin/André
Chabloz) - 1:31 rating: *** stars
Given all the hype about this being a classic lost slice of French
psychedelia, I was gobsmacked by 'Cataclysme'. Powered by André
Chabloz's squeal of a voice and Jean-Claude Tissot riotous guitar, this
wasn't a psych tune, rather was the French equivalent of a '60 US garage
band on amphetamines. Quite unexpected .. in a good way.
2.) Genese (Jean-Claude Bertin - André
Chabloz) - 4:07 rating:
Opening up with some spooky Jacques Minary church organ and Chabloz's broken
English spoken word narrative, 'Genese' was closer to a psych effort than
the opener. The biggest criticism is the fact the tune never seemed to
shift gears out of the opening riff. That meant you got to hear
Chabloz moan for the next four minutes while the rest of the band engaged in
beating the slightly ominous underlying riff to dust. Kudos to
Jean-Claude Bertin for his speed-of-light bass runs.
3.) I Wanna Love You (Jean-Claude Bertin -
André Chabloz) - 3:11 rating:
' I Wanna Love You' started out with more Monary church organ, but when
Tissot's squalling guitar kicked in the tune morphed into a downright scary
garage love tune. The singer sure didn't sound like Chabloz, but
it didn't really matter since if you were a father, you didn't want these
snot-nosed cretins anywhere near your daughters. LOL. Only
complaint on this one was it was too short.
4.) Ange De Lune (Jack Ttanna - Bob Metke) -
2:57 rating: *** stars
The album's only cover, 'Ange De Lune' was a remake of a Genesis tune
originally entitled 'Angeline' (We're talking the short-lived US band, not
Peter Gabriel and company.) Imagine Jim Morrison growing up in
France and you'll get a feel for what the organ-powered track sounded like.
Derivative, but enjoyable non-the-less.
1.) Reve Et Fumee (Jean-Claude Bertin
- André Chabloz) - 3:08 rating:
Okay, 'Reve Et Fumee' (I think it roughhy translated as dreams and smoke),
found the band diving headlong into psychedelia with stunningly good
results. Opening up with some nice Tissot guitar chords, with Minary
added some dark organ chords off they went with a jittery, dark ballad.
Unfortunately, just as the song was gathering some real energy with
Tissot cutting lose, it faced out. Still, it was one of the
2.) Genocide (Jean-Claude Bertin - André
Chabloz) - 5:52 rating: ** stars
Hum, for some reason this overwrought slice of angst has always reminded me
of something Meatloaf might have manhandled. I'm guessing the
shrill, operatic background moaning was intended to give the song a sense of
danger, but it just gave me a headache.
3.) Ain't Got And That's Better
(Jean-Claude Bertin - André Chabloz) - 3;27 rating:
Another pounding garage tune sung in English, but Chabloz sounded like he
was overdosing on helium balloons, reminding me a bit of a French Mickey
Mouse. This one always brings a smile to my face.
4.) Sugar Woman (Jean-Claude Bertin - André
Chabloz) - 2:27 rating: ** stars
Judging by this poorly advised stab at blues-rock, they'd been
listening to way too much Jim Morrison and the Doors. Probably one
Chabloz should have sung in French since the results in English were
5.) Opus (instrumental) (Jean-Claude -
Bertin - André Chabloz) - 2:46 rating: *** stars
'Opus' closed the album out with a pretty, atmospheric instrumental that
would have been even better without Chabloz's background howling. At
least guitatrist Tissot got a little more spotlight time.
President catalog number F050993
The original French President pressing is a major rarity that will set you
back a couple of paychecks. For those of you on a budget, in 1994 the Fanny
label reissued the set with the same material, but new cover art.
The only other bibliographic tidbit I can add is drummer Baumer reappeared
in the mid-'70s AOR band Treponem Pal (not to be confused with the French
'90s metal band).