Review: Haut et Court

Haut et Court La Vie Self Released

Haut1 I was just bitching to someone the other day about how I felt like all of the music I was listening to had gotten stale. Then, via that serendipity that sometimes make the interweb seem slightly more bearable, I stumbled in a whole bunch of interesting stuff. The story behind this particular review starts last summer when I stumbled on Throatruiner Records’s online catalog. As I mentioned in the Direwolves review a few days ago, this label is not widely known in North America. In my own little way I hope to do something to rectify this, since everything that I’ve heard from them so far has been stunning.

Hautcourt.-Band1

The blurb about Direwolves is (I suspect) what resulted in Arnaud from the Strasbourg band Haut et Court contacting the bunker and bringing their recently released offering La Vie to our attention. After listening to it the first time, my one word review of in my response to him was: Damn. Just…damn. The six songs here are mostly fast, always aggressive, and played with impressive tightness and precision. There are elements of a whole lot of styles here: some parts are crusty, others more math oriented, and they even have an element that sounds a little bit like black metal in terms of the mix of tonality and atonality. The really extraordinary thing about La Vie is the quality of the arrangements. It is easy for a band trying to do a lot of different things to get lost on in the variety and to end up sounding muddled and diffuse. Haut et Court’s compositions are characterized by power and directness, and the various parts fit together into a thunderingly powerful totality.

Hautcourt.-Band3I think their name translates as Loud and Short, and I further surmise (if my French still serves me) that this is a sort of pun on the French phrase “haut et fort” which translates as loud and clear. However that may be, Loud and Short is an apt name for these guys. Their music has a lot of the qualities of a bomb blast, and when it’s over you’re not quite sure what to do. This is an excellent first offering from a band with a lot of promise.

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