Le cerbère aboie
La caravane flambe
Les pyromanes sont rois
Les sociopathes bandent
Previously known as ‘Les Martyrs de Marde’ (‘The💩Martyrs’), art-punk collective Saints Martyrs unleash challenging, genre-bending tracks with a wildly diverse sonic palette. We hear influences across the musical gamut – darkwave, free jazz, noise, and even 60s chanson française. Produced by Franco-pop indie enfant terrible Navet Confit, their transcendent, unsettling album Mythologie de dernier recours (“Mythology of Last Resort”) is a collection of new compositions and collaborative pieces.
One thing holding down this kaleidoscope of sound is the band’s darkly romantic undertones, anchoring the collection to the core of a flaming heart. Although the lyrics are sung entirely in French, Saints Martyrs transcend language barriers as they speak with a universal vocabulary, bringing to mind everyone from Jacques Brel and Serge Gainsbourg to Lee Hazlewood to The Birthday Party, Tuxedomoon and Sonic Youth. The collective expresses this menagerie of sounds with avant-garde costumes and alter-egos espousing and evoking religious fanaticism, post-apocalyptic angst and BDSM fetishism.
“Our songs are a balance of epic lyricism, satire and plain brutality,” says the band.
To create this unprecedented musical universe, Saints Martyrs solicited guest performances from kindred spirits, hoping to bend musical genre boundaries. Throughout the album, lush string quartet arrangements also give emotion and poignancy to the songs, courtesy of jazz-pop composer Marie-Christine Roy. Keith Kouna (Les Goules) and Rox Arcand (Enfants Sauvages) give tremendous urgency to the grunge epic “Chien de garde” opening the album. Xarah Dion collaborates with the band on “Ceci n’est pas” and “T’en fais (y en a pas de probl me).” Romantic pop singer Lou-Adriane Cassidy showcases the depth and sweetness of her voice on “Minotaure,” a ballad that ventures into industrial metal territory to chilling results. On “Panne de fun,” Martin Poulin-Légaré (CRABE) and LV (Pure Carrière) join forces with avant-garde leader Rémy Bélanger de Beauport to create an emotionally complex musical gem.
The band draws from a musical and literary vocabulary that coalesce into a bold and open-ended signature style. Organic and synthetic sonorities dialogue with each other as heavily distorted guitars mingle with romantic string quartets and cold, groovy electronic sequences, while vocal expression seamlessly switches from prophetic spoken word to melancholy melodies and wild demonic screams.
“Thematically, the album is built around mythical figures anachronistically confronted to today’s torments and anxieties,” the band explains. “Steakhouse” speaks of a powerless Noah at the dawn of the 6th extinction; “Demain, ma therapie” reveals a depressed Oedipus who’s ambivalent about his tragic destiny; “Icare 24/7” gives Icarus the power of unlimited technology, and therefore nothing stops him from his suicide mission to the sun. Myths are reclaimed and rewritten to expose a world slowly breaking apart, wherein our ability to think is constantly challenged and yet all the more essential.”
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