Vos Voisins

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1  (1969-70)

- Andre Parenteau -- bass

- Jacques Perron - vocals, keyboards, synthesizers

- Pierre Ringuet -- drums, percussion, backing vocals

- Serge Vallieres -- lead guitar


  line up 2  (1970-73)

NEW - Bill Gangon -- bass (replaced Andre Parenteau)

- Jacques Perron - vocals, keyboards, synthesizers

- Pierre Ringuet -- drums, percussion, backing vocals

- Serge Vallieres -- lead guitar




Les Chanceliers (Andre Parenteau0

- Les Enzymes (Jacques Perron and Pierre Ringuet)

- Ville Emard Blues Band (Serge Valleres)

- Jacques Perron (solo efforts)




Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Holocauste a Montreal

Company: Polydor

Catalog:  2424 028

Country/State: Montreal, Canada

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: original, withdrawn cover art; includes lyric insert

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2792

Price: $100.00

Vos Voisons (which roughly translates to 'your neighbors') are pretty obscure, even in the niche market of '70s Quebec-based rock bands.  They don't show up in Vernon Joynson's reference book Dreams, Fantasies and Nightmares from Far Away Lands, or Leo Roy's La Merveilleuse Epoque des Groupes Quebecois des Annes 60.


The short-lived band was started by singer/keyboardist Jacques Perron and drummer Pierre Ringuet.  Under the name Les Enzymes the pair had worked with a number of Quebec-based artists including Yvon Deschamps and Louise Forestier.  By 1969 the pair had decided to strike out on their own, recruiting for Les Chanceliers bass player Andre Parenteau and guitarist Serge Vallieres.


Signed by Polydor Records, the band's debut found them working with producer Michel Lachance.  Keyboardist Perron and drummer Ringuet were credited with splitting the writing duties with lyrics provided by outsider Marcel Sabourin.   The handful of reviews I've stumbled across paint "Holocauste a Montreal" as having a heavy progressive orientation.  There are clearly some progressive moves in keyboard dominated performances like 'L'instrumental'  (sounding like they'd spent a little too much time engrossed in ELP albums), 'Le Monstre de la Main Out' and the closing instrumental '3/4 de l'acheveque', but that certainly wasn't the dominant sound.  The jerky, nervous 'Voisins (Mon Chum)' seemed to have a touch of new wave energy.  Elsewhere, like many Quebec-based outfits, these guys had an appreciation for sweet melodies and enjoyed a good heartbreak ballad - checkout their collaboration with Louise Forestier on 'Sous La Lune' or the classically-inspired 'Tania'.   Sabourin's lyrics are supposedly quite funny, but if so, the humor's lost on anyone who doesn't understand French.  All told, quite an enjoyable set, but very brief (barely clocking in over thirty minutes), and a touch short in the originality department.   Worth looking for if you can find it at the right price.



Polydor catalog number 2424 147


Today it seems innocuous, but the album cover quickly got the band into trouble.  Designed by Daniel Couvreur, the artwork was based on the design of the Montreal-based Allo Police tabloid paper.  Allo Police was a weekly paper that focused on one thing - murders throughout Quebec.  The paper's publishers took issue with the fact the album cover lifted their logo and design, quickly threatening legal action.  Polydor responded by reissuing the LP with a new cover and an alternative title "Vos Voisons". 




"Vos Voisins" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Voisins (mon Chum)   (Marcel Sabourin - Pierre Ringuet) - 3:10   rating: *** stars

Decent slice of guitar powered hard rock with some manic vocals from Perron.  No idea what the lyrics translate to though 'mon chum' is apparently frequently used in Quebe as 'my friend'.   

2.) Sous La Lune   (Marcel Sabourin - Jacques Perron) - 4:46   rating: **** stars

Given the frantic opener, 'Souls le Lune' (translating as 'under the moon') came as a major surprise.  the A fragile keyboard ballad, the song was essentially a collaboration with Canadian singer Louise Forestier, whom Perron and Ringuet had worked with in Les Enzymes.   Quite pretty.    

3.) L'instrumental (instrumental)   (Pierre Ringuet) - 4:27   rating: *** stars
Geez, did I put an ELP album on by mistake ?   Showcasing Jacques Perron's organ and synthesizer moves, the first half of 'L'instrumental' actually did remind me a bit of something off an ELP collection.   The first half showed the band at their most progressive, while the second half of the song became a showcase for Serge Vallieres tasty fuzz guitar.

4.) Tania   (Marcel Sabourin - Pierre Ringuet) - 5:05   rating: **** stars

'Tania' found the band returning to a pretty keyboard and mellotron-dominated ballad.  This time around the melody seemed to be based on classical genres with Vallieres' fat guitr chords reminding me a bit of Robin Trower-era Procol Harum .  Lots of heartbreak in the lyrics.


(side 2)

1. Le Monstre de la Main Out (The Main Monster)   (Marcel Sabourin - Jacques Perron) - 6:05   rating: *** stars

The band at their heaviest and most theatric ...  Perron screaming with an increasing sense of urgency over a keyboard and mellotron powered melody.  Likely to give sensitive listeners nightmares.  I won't get into any comments on creative credit, but stumbled across the following comments from bassist Andre Parenteau: "I had the idea of the main monster after somebody I knew had to move because his house was demolished to be replaced by new building apartments.  I gave the idea to [Marcel] Sabourin and that's what he did with it."  

2.) Y'a Juste de T'ca   (Marcel Sabourin - Jacques Perron) - 3:49   rating; **** stars

From heaviest to most commercial and pop-oriented ...  'Y'a Juste de T'ca' was also heavy, but showcased the group's knack for creating a compelling melody.  It also demonstrated Perron could actually sing rather than merely bellowing.   Probably my favorite tune on the album.    

3.)  3/4 de l'acheveque (instrumental)   (Jacques Perron) - 6:07   rating: *** stars

Funny, but I heard this song early on a Christmas morning (prior to the rest of the family waking up).  When everyone else was up we had a light jazz Christmas station on and I distinctly remember thinking that the instrumental '3/4 de l'acheveque' would not have sounded out of place on their play list.  Smooth, piano-powered adult contemporary MOR.