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METAL URBAIN-Panik/Lady Coca-Cola ep (Cobra cob47004) 1977
Started in 1975 as the electronic instrumental group De Sade, they were heavily influenced by Robert Fripp, Hawkwind and Lou Reeds Metal Machine Music. They soon changed their name to Metal Urbain as a nod to Reed and the Velvet Underground.
“Metal Urbain was a concept, not just a rock band. We wanted to be different, we wanted to be innovators. An influence on our thinking that might sound weird to you is Oscar Wilde who belonged to the anti-naturalists movement. We tried to aply his ideas to our music. That meant a music of reprocessed sounds, nothing natural. Like Eno did in Roxy Music, voices went through synthesizers, guitars through filters etc. We had a complete aesthetic approach. We wanted to be creators, to be different. We were dandies. We wanted a new world because we didn’t like the world (especially the music) we were living in.”
Eric Debris, Synth/drum machine/vocalist and founding member of Metal Urbain.
On one of his many trips to London in ‘76, Eric Debris discovered that a new strain of agressive “rock-n-roll” (similar to that of metal urbain) began to flourish and was being tagged “punk” by the English music press. Singer Clode Panik joined the band soon after and with newly found inspiration from their “punk” brethren in London, began to hone their attack. Playing the Golf Drouot battle of the bands (with a bunch of soft rock bands, no less) they managed to incite a riot after just 3 songs. Although the performance got them banned from future battles, it also got them noticed by Alain Pons, a music journalist and PR man who introduced them to a newly formed COBRA records. Original guitar player Rikki Darling quit and was replaced by the twin attack of Hermann Schwartz and Pat Luger. This gave their already aggresive sound another level of fuzzed up mayhem. With some borrowed equipment and 1 week in the studio, they produced what is arguably one of the best punk records to ever come out of France.
“Panik”, the a-side, features the twin terrors on guitar and offer up brutal and monumental James Williamson- style riffage while Clode Paniks shouted French vocals easily match their ferocity. The b-side “lady Coca Cola” is the groups homage to Reed and V.U. at their reverb and feedback-soaked best.
The band went through many line-up changes and releases after this (and remain active in some form today), but this 7″ remains a testament to the ground breaking vision of “punk” they held. For more history and info check here and here
Ps: I swiped and manipulated most of the above text from the liner notes in “Anarchy in Paris” Metal Urbain discography, thanks to my fave Frenchie Jaques Amsellem
Posted by: SurlyOldPunk