Formed in 1988 by three former members of the French hardcore band Heimatlos,
Tear Of A Doll was initially nothing more than one of the many European
imitators of the Washington scene.
However, in 1992 the band was reformed with Astrid Orion on vocals and
Francois L'Homer on guitar.
Tear Of A Doll (Pandemonium, 1996) was their only album.
The acrobatic Die Macht is typical of their fusion of
emphatic/operatic progressive-rock and sloppy/savage punk-rock,
while Le Creux cynique du Larfeuille
shows how they could transition from
jazz to exotica to hardcore with the calm and nonchalance of a surgeon.
The martial hard-rock groove of Watashi-wa Dare is mixed with
hysterical noise and vocals.
Your Horse jumps from hard-rock jamming to dissonant exotica.
Pure dementia propels the surreal cabaret skit of Shiro Kuro.
The seven-minute kammerspiel of My Cat managed to run the gamut from
punk desperation to Frank Zappa-esque irony.
The eight-minute Kerueletem is a mini-chamber concerto that suddenly
bursts into punk-rock flames only
to be attacked by Indian instruments
and to decay into dissonant mayhem.
It ends with the kind of irreverent punk exuberance that made the Dead Kennedys great.
The highest point of the album, though, is the industrial-metal instrumental Tulitikku Tehtaan Tyttoe.
In 1996 Francois L'Homer relocated to Burma, where he started the project Naing Naing, devoted to "music without instrument", as demonstrated on
Toothbrush Fever (ReAktion, 2004), whose "instruments" are only
natural sounds (roosters, toothbrushers, bullfrogs, wasps, birds, chimps),
computer and studio mixer.
Brosse A Danse invents a genre of dance music that sets
found sounds to a steady disco beat.
The eight-minute Webbed layers frogs croaking and falsetto singing, yielding an ambience similar to the early Residents albums.
Dervish Bee is a solo for wasp.
Mi Ma La Bu is a tribal dance for generator's polyrhythm.
The eleven-minute Wazo Tori Monogatari is a choral work for
birds and chimps accompanied with tom-toms.
Ice Cube Music #2 amplified the sound of an ice cube melting in a glass
of water and used the computer to turn it into a rhythmic pattern.
To cap this tour de force of irony and genius,
the eleven-minute Sarabande is a piece by Handel performed by crickets.
Francois L'Homer returned to France in 2006.
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