cheval de frise


Now what’s this about a fresh, secret crane? Ah, of course. Computer Students are after our own hearts again with another space-age reissue, this time for French legends Cheval De Frise and their second album. Fresques sur les parois secrètes du crâne, first released in 2003 on French label RuminanCe, honed the band’s brutalist edge while pushing further into jazz, post-rock, and avant garde, but arrived at a bit of an odd time, pun not intended.

Like most sequels, it was an album hard to take in with its own identity. Although their 2000 debut impressed people the world over, it’s early 21st century release date meant that it had serious competition at every corner, with many bands redefining what it was to be ‘angular,’ and to an extent, math rock, every other day. This went double for the release of its followup, yet Cheval De Frise managed to establish a unique, enigmatic place in the instrumental pantheon.

The band’s animalistic take on acoustic music can be challenging, but once again we have Carl Saff at the helm making sure that not a single detail goes unturned – when it comes to retaining nasty resonant peaks, but making them easier to listen to, we wouldn’t trust anyone else.

Check out the first taste below with “Lucarne des combles.”

Pre-orders are now live, which you can check out here – these will also feature never before seen 12-page booklets of original Thomas Bonvalet artwork, so if you’re the collecting type, you’ll want to get on supplies while they last. Oh, and check out these mysterious words provided regarding the above single:

“…evoking the cubist digressions of expert jazz, as well as the paroxysms of flamenco with a nylon guitar flexing its muscles on the anvils of the darkest Metal, Cheval de frise creates a frightened rock’n’roll, highly aesthetic yet half ugly, with a transfigured ugliness. Transfigured by what? The question remains unanswered. As does almost every other question that repeated listening to it raises.”

That is fire. As a writer, and a listener.

Regardless, with a new lease on life , Fresques sur les parois secrètes du crâne is set to retake an entire generation with its stinging majesty. While us old heads fondly reminisce, we also realize that many listeners in math rock will be hearing it for the first time, and luckily for them, it’s never sounded so good.

If you didn’t click it above, do it now – check out the pre-order here. We’ve collected a lot of vinyl over the years but the packaging and attention to detail in the Computer Students versions are truly second-to-none. They’re so damn shiny. Anyway, coming up we’ve got Trust Fund Ozu, Cinema, another effects pedal dive with Native Audio, and a whole lot more coming up. Enjoy the weekend and thanks for reading!