LES SERPENTS NOIRS
From 1967 "Les Serpents Noirs" (aka The Black Snakes) features a mixture of guitarist Frankie Charlier penned originals and material written by then 19 year old Gilbert Lerat (the back cover has a great photo of an uncomfortable looking Lerat sitting in front of a tape recorder). The paisley jacketed band photo on the front cover gives you the impression these guys were a bunch of Sgt. Pepper wannabes, but for the most part this is Belgian garage-pop with a few fuzz tunes & ballads. Fueled by some nice Frankie Charlier fuzz guitar, "Keep Your Hands Quiet" has an outright psych feel as well as the instrumentals "Sixty Nine" & "Psychy Boat", which have brief psych influences before mutating into more conventional Stax-styled instrumental jam. Franklin Charlier also deserves special notice for turning in a killer fuzz guitar solo at the end of "Sixty Nine". The garage-pop ballads include "Porquoi?"; "Sourire à l'amour'' "Dany" & "Mon Seul Amour"). Most of the twelve tracks are in French, but rhythm guitarist André Tixhon shows some versatility with a couple of English language performances. "Come On" is a nice rocker showcasing Tixhon's capable voice in powering the band through the more up tempo numbers as well as some of the ballads. His English may have been a little fractured, but his gruff delivery more than made up for those deficiencies. Bobby Patard's sax propelled blues instrumental "Bobby Blues" rounds out the LP with a unique charm. Impossible to find now days, Les Serpents Noirs with its great primitive garage psychedelic & pop-ballad tracks, was issued in micro quantities on the small Olympia label (3372), out of Belgium. A rare find indeed. Listen to audio clips of the underlined songs. Audio is taken directly from vinyl, recorded in 56 kbps to reduce download times. This means the sound might be a bit dull. The record will sound much clearer! Track listing: (Side-1) (1) Porquoi? (Gilbert Lerat) - (2) Come On (F. Charlier-Malinda) - (3) Elle a touts justie 17 ans (Gilbert Lerat) - (4) Bobby Blues (instrumental) (F. Charlier-Malinda) - (5) Sixty Nine (instrumental) (F. Charlier-Malinda) - (6) Sourire a l'amour (Gilbert Lerat) - (Side-2) (1) Psychy Boat (instrumental) (F. Charlier-Malinda) - (2) Mon Seul Amour (Gilbert Lerat - F. Charlier-Malinda) - (3) Dany (Weisman - Wies Fred) - (4) Keep Your Hands Quiet (F. Charlier-Malinda) - (5) Mirage (F. Charlier-Malinda) - (6) J'ai Peur (Gilbert Lerat - F. Charlier-Malinda) From 1967, this is the only 12" LP by Les Serpents Noir. Made in Belgium, the thinly constructed record jacket appears in overall Very Good condition with some corner creases & wear of note along the opening edge. The Mono labels & playing surfaces appear in overall Excellent condition!
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