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6 out of 10
Tastemakers in London and Liverpool have been praising the Parisian indie scene - where The Strokes, Libertines and MC5 t-shirts reign supreme like they did in New Cross and Shoreditch during 2001-2004 - for a couple of years now, but it's failed to make any real impact here.
Neimo have a chance because they write their songs in English. For the same reason French labels and radio have largely ignored them because broadcasting in France has to be at least 40% in French, instead they're signed to American label Shangri-La (US home of The Duke Spirit and singer-songwriter Trevor Menear).
It's a credit to the four-piece that 'Poison The Chalice' still sounds half relevant given their influences (Blondie, The Smiths and The Strokes). They've embraced indie's recent fascination and pilfering of dance music, but the synths on the New Wave-style title track sound tacked on here and elsewhere, while you'd never know singer Bruno Alexandre was French. On 'Poison The Chalice' his yelp sounds like Caleb Followill, and on other songs he's more Pete Doherty than Parisian.
The hazy ballad 'Peter And The Wolves', which falls somewhere in between 'Sally Cinnamon' and 'Someday', is their simplest and best song, rather than their flirtations with new rave and punk-funk. 'The Story Of Your Favourite Song' is inaccurate to say the least, as the drum intro is the same as 'Valerie' and the way Alexandre ends lines on "die" reminds me of Bob Geldof on 'I Don't Like Mondays'. Then the Smiths influence on 'Something In Common' is so pronounced they may as well have covered 'This Charming Man'.
1. Poison The Chalice
2. Peter And The Wolves
3. The Story Of Your Favourite Song
4. Something In Common