Release Date: June 14, 2011
Run Time: 44:33
2. Du rhum, des femmes
3. Commençons la semaine
4. Les dames du large
5. À boire
6. Le medley du mal de pieds
7. La bonne journée
8. Contre vents et marées
9. La ballade de Jonathan Lewis
10. Passant par Paris
11. La grange aux lutins
12. Par chez nous
Au Diable les Remords is the debut album of Bodh’aktan. A francophone band based in Québec. The group consist of six musicians, each of whom brings a bit of a rough vocal styling, and several band members that play various instruments. The bodhran, tin whistle, banjo, fiddle, accordion, basically any instrument you’d expect a Celtic Punk band to have at their disposal.
The album is roughly 45 minutes with 12 tracks. It’s mostly original material, with a couple of traditional French covers. The best way to describe Au Diable les Remords, is that it’s a bunch of buoyant party anthems about beer, women, seafaring, creatures of French folklore, and having a good time. So let’s jump right in and take a look at a few of the songs, and see if that one year of French class I took in high school will pay off.
The opening track Les Trois Capitaines, tells the story of three sailors looking to find a woman to settle down with. The thing that stood out to me about this song, is the chorus. It’s really catchy, has a twangy guitar sound, and backing vocals that sounds like some thunderous barbaric chant. The rowdy tough guy harmonizing yell, is a formula we see used often in Celtic punk songs. Especially sports themed anthems. However, I have to say that Bodh’aktan delivers each line with so much intensity, it makes me feel as if they are kilt wearing, ax wielding madmen that are coming to burn down my village.
Du Rhum, Des Femmes is a cover originally from the French rock group Soldat Louis. It’s a sailors song about rum, women, showing of your tattoos, and a life at sea. The Bodh’aktan version ups the tempo just a little bit, and they add the melody from The sailors Hornpipe towards the end of the song. It makes for decent cover, and is one of my personal favorite tracks on the album.
Commençons la semaine is an old traditional French folk song. So old in fact, some speculate that the song actually dates back to the reign of Louis XV, which would be around the early 1700s. What made me enjoy this cover had to be the violin and tin whistle arrangements. It’s one of the softer songs on the album, and I feel those two instruments blend well with the backing electric guitar. Towards the end of the song, you hear this heavenly and immaculate harmonizing of the guys voices. It shows us just how diverse this band can be with their vocals and how talented they are.
À Boire is a hard rock song that throws the bagpipes into the mix. This track also has a very infectious chorus, that seems to be a trend I’m noticing while listening to this album. Track number Seven, La Bonne Journée, has a number of influences from various bands. Most notably, the Dropkick Murphy’s. Many of you will recognize a good chunk of the melody is similar to State of Massachusetts.
La Ballade de Jonathan Lewis opens up with vocals from French-Canadian singer Marie-Mai. A little over a minute in, the song picks up to the fast pace style we’ve become accustomed to on this album. Having Marie-Mai do the opening was a nice touch, and overall I thought the song was really well done. Passant par Paris is a French sea shanty that was sung by sailors during the siege of Paris. The song starts off just like the other versions you’ve probably heard before, and again switches over to that highly energetic Bodh’aktan sound. It’s an outstanding cover that I think would please a lot of audiences. The song has a perfect blend of both folk and rock elements.
Au Diable les Remords is a must buy for Celtic rock and punk fans in the French and Canadian scene. The real question is, that if English is your first and only language, should you still pick up this album? While those who are fluent in French will appreciate the lyrical content, (which is superb by the way) this is simply a party and drinking album that all fans of the genre will enjoy. Music is a universal language, and a number of people judge music from a rhythmical perspective. If chord progression, atmosphere, instrumentation and fantastic arrangements are the things you use to analyze your taste in music, then you can pick up a copy of Au Diable les Remords on iTunes now, or at the official Bodh’aktan website. If lyrics are what matters to you most, I suggest you pick up a copy of Rosetta Stone, French edition.