13 th Hole is a pleasant French band that is already around for 12 years. I wonder why I keep forgetting about them in-between two albums because they play a melodic noise-pop I particularly enjoy. It might be because it takes them a lot of time to release an album. They did not take advantage of their first album’s success in 1993 and its subsequent Peel Session by hastening the release of their second album. I guess almost everyone forgot about them when they released their second and definitely attractive album entitled Tout in 1999. Well, you know, they are from Rennes, not Paris… I’m joking but this band proves that music is not a race.
The noisy yet melodic aspect of this fourth album Jack is Back! sure can still evoke Sonic Youth like its predecessors but the Italian female singer who does not hesitate to shout makes 13 th Hole closer to PJ Harvey (circa Rid of Me) or to riot girl bands like Bikini Kill and Sleater-Kinney. However, in my opinion, the noisy aspect makes 13 th Hole more compelling than what riot girls do.
When Isa condescends to sing, 13 th Hole seems to trade rawness for melody and delivers catchy songs such as ‘Bus Stop’ or ‘Plagiat’ which are reminiscent of Kristin Hersch in The Throwing Muses or now 50 Foot Wave. If you like Bikini Kill or Sleater-Kinney, I suggest that you listen to 13 th Hole. My fellow countrymen’s last effort being way better than Sleater-Kinney’s last album for instance, you won’t lose your time.
SEB ‘back for wood’ WOOd.
/july 1st 2005/