Some albums exude conventionality and some just don’t. That is most certainly true of “Vaisseau Monde” by the offbeat collective Le Grand Sbam. With an obvious enthusiasm for all that is theatrical and oblique this collective nonetheless have little difficulty in capturing the attention of what were once tired ears.
The songs, as you might expect, do not have a conventional construction but this turns out to be one of the major benefits of making the acquaintance of a band such as this. Bereft of, and unconfined by, conventionality, their episodic trips into the alternate realities of avant-garde and arthouse soundtrack cues are more than enough to arouse your curiosity and, perhaps surprisingly, provoke a curiously positive response to the deliberate discord that they so often layer on these musical adventures.
As you might imagine, this deliberately stylised sonic theatricality will be too much for some yet, when all is said and done, it is this dramatic overdose that provides the narcotic appeal of an album like this. Le Grand Sbam aren’t your normal kind of band and “Vaisseau Monde” isn’t an album for the normal. Individuality has its price and it is one that I am more than happy to pay.
Best song? The downright weird “Woubit”.
The verdict? Nonstandard but invigorating.