FRENCH TV

BAND OF DESTINY



THE CASE AGAINST ART (Pretentious Dinosaur)


French TV's The Case Against Art is New Age jazz-fusion; it sounds like the Talking Heads cavorting among structureless vistas, as channeled through a video game's synthesized music. In fact, I'd go as far as to call it Geek Jazz. The closing moments of That Thing on the Wall and its transition to Viable Tissue Matter, for example, has the distinct feeling of Devo scoring a syndicated cartoon (e.g., "THUNDERCATS" or "TRANSFORMERS"). It's the kitsch instinct that helps the better bits of the album work like, elevating the tired guitar work on That Thing on the Wall and One Humiliating Incident After Another. At their best, French TV is a less- deconstructionist version of Art of Noise. It's goofy analog fun, working sans electronic sonics and employing flutes, accordions and flippant synthesizers. But its irreverent title aside, French TV 7's The Case Against Art (the band's moniker adds numbers after each subsequent release, emphasizing evolution) is a much easier listen than The Violence of Amateurs, their previous and more balls-out prog album. In its stale moments, French TV represents the lethargically large elements of prog music: the wanking, bluesy, instrument masturbation. (What does it say about an unconventional album when its droning notes are more entertaining than its activity-filled parts?) Worse yet: While mostly amusing, French TV seem like real art-school music dorks who went down the road Talking Heads never went down - a long, almost generic-sounding road.

Shane Hazen; July 17, 2002; LEO WEEKLY (...and he never wrote for LEO either before or since then again...)