Perth’s French Rockets have never been a band to embrace minimalism, and in keeping with this their latest album is heavily layered – seemingly held together by about 3 or 4 different types of fuzz pedal. Arc applies higher end production to the Rockets’ usual noisy psychedelic hard rock style,and really captures the immensity of their live show. Take for example lead single ‘Pulling Metal’ which maintains a level of clarity amidst the suffocating sheets of noise, solving a problem that has plagued previous releases.

Sonically this album gives us the best sounding French Rockets material yet, and when you realise it’s been five long years since their last release you can forgive the guys for taking their time. However for all that Arc does right in terms of sound, it’s actually fairly sparse on ideas. A few of the tracks here including ‘Pareidolia’, ‘Dream Cycle’ and the Animal Collective-inspired ‘Keep Burning’ add nothing to the overall experience, merely filling out the track-listing and breaking the momentum of the album’s sharper tracks.

Overall Arc does an excellent job in capturing the iconic live sound the Rockets are known for, but, in some cases this production quality feels wasted on mediocre songwriting.

Review by Laurent Shervington

By Pelican Magazine

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