Montague Jacques Fromage - Totally Unexpected (Album Review)

01.Industrial Revolution - Old Steampunk Philosopher
02.(I Think You're) Gorgeous
04.Suburban Pawns
05.Chill (Soy Un Tonto)
06.Suffragettes - Old Steampunk Philosopher
07.Legend Of The Black Dog
08.White Chapel
09.Edison Or Tesla
10.Steampunk Is Dead
11.Coney Island - Old Steampunk Philosopher
12.Totally Unexpected (Electro Dance Mix)

Montague Jacques Fromage (Vocals)

Guest Musicians:
BB Blackdog (Track 7)

Hailing from New York the self styled 'Victorian Rap' artist emerged on the alternative "Steampunk" music scene in 2010.
Blending funk and dance rhythms with comedy lyrics he released his debut album 'One Year To The Day' in June 2013.
He has acted as MC at numerous concerts for some of the genre's best known names including 'Abney Park' and 'BB Blackdog'.

The opening number 'Industrial Revolution' uses as its backing music Stephen Foster's 'Beautiful Dreamer'and John Philip Sousa's March, 'The Stars and Stripes Forever' and is performed under the guise of the 'Old Steampunk Philosopher'.
Not really a rap but a short story with a catchy chorus that reminds you to not "give up your airship" the narration has a very english feel reminding me of Monty Python or Vivian Stanshalls comedy creation Sir Henry Rawlinson.

A very upbeat jazz/funk backing track is used for '(I Think You're) Gorgeous' a song about his dog, however the clever lyrics leave you wondering if there is not some clever "double-entendre" going on.

Now 'Corsetry' keeps the jazz/funk vibe going, whilst the lyric deals with ladies corsets and frankly that works for me just fine, just waiting for the video now.

A tongue in cheek swipe at suburban life and the middle class lifestyle with 'Suburban Pawns', the song has a great brass section running throughout and some funky guitarwork that could have come from legend Rick James.

A sultry vocal greets 'Chill (Soy Un Tonto)' that means 'Im A Fool' in case you were wondering, the music starts out like Herb Alpert before getting this amazing Carlos Santana guitar sound with some quality riffing.

"Hello Again" says the Old Steampunk Philosopher, and we are treated to another mini story this time the subject deals with the 'Suffragettes' and still reminds us to not "Give up that airship", although it appears that everyone concerned including a lounge-lizard ends up in a paddy wagon!

Next up some hard funky rock with 'Legend Of The Black Dog' featuring some stunning guitar work from BB Blackdog's Dale Rowles.
The song seems to be about the airship Blackdog and not the Yorkshire supernatural legend.

'White Chapel' has a sleazy feel, where we learn that the gentleman concerned enjoys the "colourful nighlife' that London's professional ladies have to offer, did someone mention Jack?

So now we have an argument dealing with 'Edison or Tesla', Tesla of course went to work for Edison in 1884 and patented the AC Induction motor and worked on many other types of radio and x-ray whilst Edison created over 1000 patents for everything from a light bulb to cameras, listen and take your side.

Not quite echoing Jim Morrison's 'Rock Is Dead' is the short funky song 'Steampunk Is Dead' which actually deals with commercialisim of the Steampunk movement, fortunately Montague reassures us all that "IT'S ALIVE!"

Guess what? yes the Old Steampunk Philosopher is back for one last story in 'Coney Island' which is about a family weekend away and remember "Dont give up your airship".

Our last song is a Kraftwerk style electro dance mix of 'Totally Unexpected', plenty of vocal effects and swirling synth pulses blend with some guitar and drum machines.
A very clever 7 minutes that actually uses lines from many of the previous songs with some added backing vocal sung in french.

In some weird parellel world there may exist a band featuring members of Funkadelic, Bonzo Dog Band and Captain Beefheart, in this world we have Montague!!

A very clever album that flows with a degree of perfection that i as a reviewer rarely hear, this "steampunkfunk Bizarre" may be deemed as a aquired taste by many but deserves to be heard by the masses regardless of what type of music you normally listen to.
You can see him live at this years Steampunk Doncaster weekend on June 21st, Alt-Fest in August and Steampunk Invasion in Dallas in September.

Rating 10/10
For Fans Of : BB Blackdog, Tom Lehrer, Bonzo Dog Band, Monty Python, Noel Coward, Mr Joe Black




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