Plebeian Grandstand - Rien Ne Suffit

15 Nov 2021 - Thorsten

Blackened Avantgarde, Noisey Post-Hardcore | Debemur Morti | Release date: 19 Nov 2021


Abrasive – that might be the best word to describe Rien Ne Suffit, the new record by Plebeian Grandstand, just like it might have been the best one to describe all their releases up to now. However, there is something about this new measure of utter madness and sheer uncontrolled life-denying anger, that is different. Might be the production which some people have called “too clean” - probably because they never understood the band anyway!

Grinding Sandpaper. Crackling Lightsabers. Exploding Stroboscopes. Corroded Pincers. All terms are likely and righteously to be found in many reviews of the new masterclass-release by these French new Avant-Brutalists. Comparisons will include several of the following: Aphex Twin, Dillinger Escape Plan, Merzbow, Converge, Sutekh Hexen, The Chariot, Refused, Frontierer, Indian, Nails or Fantomas. All of these comparisons are equally understandable and good. However, in this author’s opinion, both approaches neglect one thing: the complete self-sufficiency of this creation as the French band once again prove that one can create beauty out of chaos.

The record is pure musicality and encompasses many genres – thus creating some kind of genre-less character – and soundscapes, and to some strange extent everything is laid out before our very ears with an amazing clarity and master-craftsmanship. You can find bastardized doom on ”Aube”, the record’s final track which features a very slow beat underneath all the Harsh-Noise-effects over it. Ironically, the track’s name is translated to “dawn” in English, and the track really forms a new beginning, because it is like a clean slate from which the band can go anywhere basically. On the other side (and the record’s real beginning), ”Masse Critique” (“critical mass”) displays some slow, yet amazingly noisy Math-Rock. In some ways, the second track ”À Droite Du Démiurge, À Gauche Du Néant”, (“To the right of the demiurge, to the left of the nothingness”) is like a second start to the record for it speeds things up immensely, pumping the blood through the veins with such ferocity that they seem to burst right in the middle of one’s skull. By the way, a demiurge is – in ancient Greek philosophy – the creator, the builder of the universe. From that point of view, the narrator is right in the middle between heaven and hell. Interesting idea when dealing with such a venom-spitting, slithering viper of a Hardcore song like this, because you have to steer the course perfectly straight, otherwise you die and ascend upwards or you fall off and down forever.

When the third track ”Tropisme” starts, one immediately feels like thrown into the pit of a sweaty underground fight club somewhere in the Caribbean facing your opponent who is twice your size and seems to be able to rip you apart as soon as the bell rings in the first round of your fight for life or death. A wonderful, heated electronic track that would neither be misplaced on a Breakbeat or Drum’n’Bass record. Flurry, swirly, winding electro-loops with as much force as one can muster.

One could analyze all tracks on this record and would be able to come up with forceful, powerful comparisons and yet – one should listen to this record to come up with your own descriptions, because that is what Plebeian Grandstand ultimately is about: Creating something unheard before. And no one will come up with as personal an idea as everyone else around you, for creation is also something personal, our personal process through which we will come to very different results whenever we try to initialize it. Rien Ne Suffit (“nothing will be/is enough”) - a programmatic title, for this amazing release needs a lot attention and two or three spins will not be enough; maybe 100 won’t be. For this record shows a band at the peak of their craft in songwriting and song destroying, with an open ear for so many genres and ideas. So many paths to follow, nothing will be enough. One should try to see the bigger picture behind this release. Do not try to follow this band or their path – use the record as your springboard to self-creation. The band used this record to jump onto the Album of the Year-lists of oh so many people, including yours truly. And, as ”Rien Ne Suffit” also implies, after listening to this record for days on repeat, I must say it’s still not enough and I am eagerly waiting for every single chord to follow this amazing record!