The first demo by Zëro - the reincarnation of Bästard!, a group which had its origins in the Deity Guns (initiators of the French post-rock movement ) - is already 10 years old and "San Francisco" is their 5th album.

A red album… just like there have been white albums or black albums. A major album in a discography, in the history of a group. The style is the same as can be recognized in all the records but the total break with the past is fascinating. As is the image of the cover which shows three individuals sitting on a long seat with their faces erased, just merged together by the stains on the decrepit wall behind them. It’s like a reverse image of the Greek Hydra - or rather of the Cerberus, the three-headed dog and guardian of Hell - with three bodies, three exceptional musicians who blend together and bloom into one sole head, one sound.

Zëro now play as a trio and the group has gained in coherency. One after the other, the tracks flow fluidly together as a whole despite the complexity of the arrangements and the multiple cinematographic or musical references, with both sides of the record containing a mix of contained violence and tense atmospheres. All through this 35-minute trip, it is a pleasure to let yourself go taking in the explosive outbursts which have always been part of the group’s identity and strike the ear in the same way as a stroboscope pervades the eye. But what is surprising about "San Francisco" is the tracks which are almost pop (in the best sense of the term, as The Feelies or Wire were immense pop groups) with their dynamic faux laidback nonchalance which makes you want to jump in the car with the radio on full blast and speed down an ocean road (remember "Cruising Coast Shadow"?).

Finally, cutting up, resolving or enhancing these tracks, the album’s unity is above all derived from its passages of contained tension which are both psychedelic and noisy with menacing atmospheres harking back to their last appearances as a trio during readings by Virginie Despentes. Finally, it is perfectly natural that the trip should end in "San Francisco", the title track of the album… a song which you would like to turn into a locked groove to indefinitely prolong this moment in which all the tension is resolved, stretched out and absorbed in a feeling of serenity and fullness.

Bandcamp de Zëro


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