Reviews

Cochonne Emergency 12″

A parting gift from North Carolina’s COCHONNE, who played their (unplanned) last show in February 2020 and then spent the ensuing void of a year recording and mixing these five tracks for posthumous vinyl release. Their late 2019 cassette debut was an endearing hodge-podge of femme-forward, late ’70s/early ’80s post-punk citations with a minor garage streak, apparently consisting of the first songs that bassist/vocalist Mimi ever wrote, and Emergency documents just how much COCHONNE had grown in a little over a year from those humble beginnings. The band’s bilingual English/French lyrics had always given them a certain Euro flair, but they really channeled the Neue Deutsche Welle (except en français) this time around—it’s not hard to imagine the suitably paranoid, MALARIA!-esque mix of sinister synth, shifting rhythms, and stern recitations that give way to urgent shrieks in ”Qu’est-ce Que T’as Fait?” and “Trop” having been crafted from behind the Berlin Wall rather than in the present-day Triangle. Cavernous bass and jump-cut disco beats heighten the darkly serious drama of “KGB,” while “Asking for a Friend” navigates the dynamics of modern romance with an acidic sneer (“I’m looking for a real good time / It doesn’t have to be full-time”) over pangs of needling neo-no wave, and closer “Vampire” brings COCHONNE back to their initial DELINQUENTS/B-52’S raw art school charm with some wavy keys breaking into bashed drums and delirious laughter-as-vocals. You can’t say they didn’t go out on top!