Let’s cut to the chase, for a change. What do you want from a real rock band ? First: style. Second: sound. Third: songs. In no particular order. The rest, my friends, is irrelevant, three sheets to the wind, cold fish and such, nothing but a lame reason for hanging around at the bar. Meanwhile, on stage, Dragon Rapide give it the works. With the tension, the electrifying tension, the high voltage of the trio, of friction, stripped down to the bone. When there’s only three of you, you’re not allowed to go wrong, to take some downtime, to slow down.
They’ve understood it perfectly : Sylvain (guitar/vocals), Jimmy (bass), and POG (drums). They’ve understood it because they’ve learnt, to the point of sweating blood, and even worse, on every (every!) possible stage, from the least likely to the most prestigious. They just got a bit tighter, that’s all. In Clermont-Ferrand, where that kind of lesson is quickly learnt, Dragon Rapide grew, here and there, thankfully in a cellar, but also under the sun, when the most naked pop quickly takes bright red colours, and even peels a little. The Dragon drank the very substance in one gulp, the one that still gives handsome erections, so as to write the logical follow-up to the great works of Nada Surf, Teenage Fan Club, Travis and other independent rock heroes of the last century, when people knew how to write guitar songs and to shimmy to driving rhythms. However, the mix is subtle. A few perfectly trimmed verses, a couple of beautiful choruses and you let yourself go, slightly drunk, on the narrow line between textbook pop and the big punk grater, something kind of rough, let’s face it, and quite light at the same time, go figure… The recipe has been tried and tested, all that remains is for it to sound as it should, and the Dragon, if it is quick – Rapide – is also elegant, down to its claws.
Even better than a rabbit’s foot then, to bring luck to the 13 songs on See the Big Picture, the trio’s first album was entirely handmade in the Auvergne region, and is to be released in 2018. From the recording to the artwork, from the mix to the mastering, they know how to load the cannon. At the heart of it, a foray into Built to Spill, which love of independence and freedom is now widely recognized. And, wonder of wonders, the Americans’ song-writing talents are spot on in this collection of powerful songs, where the slightest bit of fat makes way for a dry and perfect bone structure, an immediate and crafty rock’n’roll that only speaks of music. Good music. – Hervé Deffontis
released February 2, 2018
All Songs by Dragon Rapide except "Never Be The Same" by "Built To Spill".
Recorded on July-December 2016 by Jean-Philippe Dubail and Baptiste Jacob at Studio de L’Étoile (Clermont-Ferrand / France). Mixed by Olivier Perez from Garciaphone. Mastered by Simon Capony at Basalte Studio (Beaumont / France).
Collage by Florence Normand. Layout by Bertrand Banchard from He11 - Graphic Design and Illustration.