A horrible hack

Robert Openightmare

Air Fart One

Year Released: 2018
Format: CD
Label: Les Productions du Chauve
 
Reviewed by Samuel Rogers on Feb 29, 2020
Straight off the bat, this is significantly better than I expected from the front cover. “Air Fart One” is the lamest pun I’ve seen since a second earlier when I read the band’s name. The packaging gives comedy aliases to each band member, depicting them in military costumes wrestling a polar bear. My expectations for the music were low.

Never judge a book by its cover! This is a solid and refined melodic punk record. It’s the seventh album from a Toulouse three-piece, who previously went by “Openightmare”. As far as I can tell, the Toulouse punk scene spans the whole spectrum of hardcore (Fire at Will, TRAP, Cop Porn). But this trio have a much lighter palette, mixing golden-age skate punk and “gruff punk”. They deliver nine tracks in just under twenty-four minutes. “Why” is my personal highlight, and a good example of their talent. “Waiting for the Sun” introduces a touch of Jawbreaker-esque emo, while “Black Sun, Shiny Moon” has some unexpected hard rock riffs. The bassist and drummer are polished and energetic. But the star of the show is frontman “Colonel Robert”. He fires off some catchy guitar hooks, while his singing is melodic with a strained, rough edge that suits the music. Lyrics are mainly personal, occasionally political… but never as puerile as the title of the album.