If you have seen Pneu playing their loud, dissonant noise rock in a public space, as they are wont to do, you are a lucky individual. The rest of us earthling’s have only their records to cling to. With the unveiling of Destination Qualité, their third full-length release since 2011, this symphonic wrestling match of a duo demonstrate, once again, how noise can be crafted to be incredibly rambunctious yet strangely poetic. It is as if they are fighting, with every capillary combusting, to fill, control, and contort the gaps in time they themselves create.
Stylistically reminiscent of classics like Hella and Daughters, though not retrograde, Destination Qualité’s kaleidoscopic interplay of guitar slides and crunches, jazzy drum fills and rhythms are proof of Pneu’s branching artistry. Take, for example, the unfortuitous final track of the album, ‘Astronomism’: opening with a maelstrom of static and snare reaching a zenith with the release of a loud, pounding big room beat, to be brought back down with minimal single note picks, pinging and shrilling, not breaking syncopation, and as Pneu loves to feign an end, they raise us again with a loud riff heavy finish. Destination Qualité is much like reclaimed art: it is grimy and often appears esoteric, but with an open perspective, one can clearly see it was crafted with intent and is, in its own right, beautiful.
Perhaps the most defining motif in Destination Qualité, in contrast with previous releases like Highway To Health, is Pneu’s use of musical space, which appears to be dichotomous across the record. The renowned bludgeon encompassed in tracks like ‘Catadioptre Ambidextre’ and ‘Futur Plus Tard’ are counterbalanced by a new and refreshing minimalist approach executed in ‘Hinges’ and (to great length) in ‘Gin Tonique Abordable’. Here, the excessive like nature of Pneu’s sound is completely stripped and songs are instead told predominantly through the silence between the instruments. This bold move on Pneu’s part is surprisingly effective and pushes Destination Qualité into an unforseen echelon.
Destination Qualité is sure set to be Pneu’s magnum opus, an exceptionally crafted contortion of noise. You will no doubt have fun here.
Two-piece, punk, distortion, wacky, math rock, instrumental, noise rock