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  Les Moyennes des Folklore  
  Haricort Vert  
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I was tempted to begin this review in a manner similar to the way I began my Plexorjet review: there's been a void in my life ever since Archers Of Loaf went their separate ways. But perhaps that's a little unfair. I mean, most bands these days sound vaguely like some other band that preceded them. It's not their fault that the easiest way to evoke an unheralded band's sound is to immediately compare them to some other, more famous band.

However, in the case of Haricot Vert, the Archers Of Loaf comparison is not only valid, but also somewhat fundamental. Their new EP, Les Moyennes des Folklore, begins with a song, Blanket wash, that clearly invokes the tone of Icky Mettle (the Archers' first album). Similarly, the last song, Vengeuse Gentile, has an instrumental interlude and staccato feel that recalls All the Nations Airports (the penultimate album by the now ubiquitous Archers Of Loaf). In between, the remaining 4 songs each could placed somewhere within the AoL catalog and pass as good background album tracks.

Now before you think I'm slamming Haricot Vert in the preceding paragraph, let me tell you that I can think of infinitely worse bands for a young group to imitate. I'm not sure I could write a straight-up, non sarcastic review for a band that, say, sounded just like Sonic Youth or some other early-90s Indie Rock Gods ™. And, to give Haricot Vert some credit, their sound has the requisite "emo" touches one might expect from a young Atlanta rock band (although in the context of these songs, I'm personally reminded more of Polvo - yet another North Carolina connection).

"But really, Tracers," I hear you cry. "Aren't you damning Haricot Vert with faint praise? Shouldn't a young band be able to make an album without being immediately labeled as sounding like some other band?"

In and of itself, that's an interesting question. In theory, one should be able to review music without comparing it to that which has come before. But, in this case, Haricot Vert (like many young bands) haven't yet figured out a way to translate their influences into something slightly different and unique. Instead, their sound is skillful and powerful, but still a re-hash of other songs and songwriters. Yes, this is a criticism, but it's not a sharp one.

Les Moyennes des Folklore is enjoyable, and shows that this band is quite talented. With some age and experience, one would imagine that Haricot Vert will show growth and gradually find their own voice. Personally, I look forward to their future endeavors. Until then, I'll listen to this EP and be reminded of other albums.

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