Les Bellas – Belladelic LP (SDZ/Les Disques Steak)

French garage that’s a little more traditional than most of what these two labels have had on offer up ‘til now, but stay with me here, because this is a good one. Les Bellas were active in the last decade, and were well on their way to releasing this LP in 2006 on “a famed West Coast garage label” (unless you’re that guy Chucky from “Sons of Anarchy” who’s got like two thumbs and that’s all, you can count the number of possibilities here on a single hand), when said label was said to have dropped the anchor, which went straight through their proverbial boat, “Flying Wasp”-style, and that was that. Members of the group have resurfaced in the cutesy, slight Liminanas, while this full-length languished under someone’s bed … UNTIL NOW. What you have here is very, very boilerplate, slightly surfy garage-pop, but its immaculate rendering and classic sound, which not only predates the revival of such sounds by Girls Vivian and Dum Dum, but takes the time to address all of the historical details that are missing from kickball-borne revisionism and dress-up time. The reverb and fuzz elements here sound straight out of ’67, the arrangements of a sterling historical vintage, and the singing and playing are both professional and personal, something that’s not so easy to accomplish without a lot of practice. Really, this sort of thing can go either way, but it’s important to note that it sounds fresh instead of slavish, and that this thing is full of great songs that belong right in time with their influences rather than as revisionism. Ten originals and two smashing covers of the Cryin’ Shames and Wanda Jackson complete the simple, impeccable package. ( (
(Doug Mosurock)