Pas pire pop, I Love You So Much, the second album from Montreal avant-funk super-group Avec le Soleil Sortant de sa Bouche, showcases the most innovative ideas from Quebec’s experimental rock scene, combining irresistible grooves with a smorgasbord of avant-garde ideas in a record that is astonishing in its inventiveness.
Unfolding over ten minutes of shamanistic vocals, elastic bass and futuristic electronics, the two-part opener Trans-pop express starts Pas pire pop... in impressive fashion as the band interweave the first half with mechanical noises and racing angular guitars before the second movement eases us into a transcendental psych-rock trance. It’s imaginative stuff, even more so when Alizé et Margaret D. Midi moins le quart. Sur la plage, un palmier ensanglanté transports us somewhere else entirely, moving from its roots in a sunny, staccato afropop melody through Swans-esque doom before winding up in technological mayhem while never feeling like the quartet have lost the map along the way.
Pas pire pop... saves its best ideas for last on the 20-minute masterpiece of Tourner incessamment dans l'éclatement euphorique de soi / Road Painting Ahead, which takes up the whole second side of the record as monstrous noise rock riffs help the band blow a tunnel to an ending that is beguilingly spiritual.
Avec le Soleil's discipline is the most impressive feature on Pas pire pop... with the band never afraid to follow the mysterious path of a melody, open to going where the road takes them but unfalteringly methodical in their execution. In short, they make experimental rock sound so easy when the reality is anything but.