Sound — 8
Le Compte Complet is the first LP by the now internationally renowkn French-Canadian Indie band Malajube. This first effort finds the rockers at their most down-to-earth and gritty. Martin Pelland's production is spacious and messy, often falling just sort of making Malajube's tracks sound like live recordings. The band's sound is fairly diverse, sometimes revolving around guitarist-vocalist Julien Mineau's wildly sloppy and distorted guitar riffs, other times relying on keyboardist Thomas Augustin's minimalistic ambiences and textures. All in all, Malajube's sound is one that is somewhat ungrounded and amateurish, but one that is sincere and which shows much potential.
Lyrics — 8
Malajube has never been a band who paid particular attention to writing very complex lyrics. Since their second album, Julien Mineau's vocals have been buried under layers of instruments in shoegazer-style production. On this first release however, Pelland's lack of producing experience prevented the band from achieving their desired sound and left the vocals high in the mix, calling attention to Mineau's lyrics and their very bipolar nature: jumping from heartfelt and hurt to quirky and slightly off-kilter, to completely ridiculous and utterly nonsensical as in "La Maladie", Malajube's lyrics match their musical situation: unsure, confused, and drawing from a huge pot of often incompatible influences. On Le Compte Complet, this was a band trying to find itself and it's roots, all the while trying to expand into something greater.
Overall Impression — 8
Compared to Malajube's later releases, Le Compte Complet is a very simple album, sitting on the borderline between punk and indie rock and often holding onto simple verse-chorus-verse structures. Le Compte Complet feels very much like a collection of jams, demoes, and half-completed songs, with tracks like "L'introduction", "La Maladie", "L'amour sous l'eau" and "La Conclusion" all serving as very short fillers rather than fully-developed songs. The album barely spans 25 minutes and includes dramatic shifts in mood and style. The most impressive song by far are the strange, post-modern "Le Robot Sexy" and "Le Metronome" while "Les Dents" makes it as the most mournful and memorable track of the album, making use of gorgeous keyboard ambience. This is a good first effort by a band who managed to break into a wider market despite the barriers of location and language. Le Compte Complet comes off as a gritty, unpolished, and very lo-fi effort, recalling some of the earliest post-punk, but with the energy and playfulness of the current indie scene.