Modern Low EP - The Tres Biens (TUG Records)
They’re from Bavaria in Germany and their name is French for “Very Goods” so is it any wonder most of the rest of the world thinks Europe is a confusing place? There’s nothing muddle-headed about the brand of rock and roll this four-piece pub rock band pumps out on this four-track vinyl EP, however.
Two guitars and edgy, strangled vocals sit pretty well around these parts and The Tres Biens have cornered their own part of the market. The sound borrows from English bands like Graham Parker and The Rumour (especially on the opener “Factory Boy/Factory Girl”) and the pacing is relentless.
The title track eases into a chugging rhythm that would do the Feelgoods proud. “You Can’t Win” has some sharp riffing and “All The Lights In This House” is a formidable song, a cover of a tune by obscure UK pop-rocker Martin Newell (Cleaners From Venus.)
The EP’s well-produced with a clean, uncomplicated sound that’s a little light in the bottom-end. Being a European release of course it’s on vinyl (seven-inch and 33rpm, to be precise), but it’s also available as a download from the ubiquitous Bandcamp.