Americans have it all wrong. We changed french fries to freedom fries, french toast to freedom toast, french kissing to to freedom kissing, all in the name of American pride after the French didn’t back us in Iraq. We were going to teach them a lesson. But the French didn’t fucking care; they were too busy looking better than us and kicking our asses in being cool because of their inborn style and class. Our jealousy fuels our obnoxiously childish actions toward those espresso-drinking, chain-smoking frogs. Amanda Woodward is French. And La Decadence de la Decadence is golden.
La Decadence de la Decadence, the band’s third album, shows that even in small, easily staled subgenres like hardcore, the French can infuse a style that can elevate it out of the steamy basements. Seductive and driving, Amanda Woodward has elegance that separates it from other emo/screamo/hardcore bands. A blend of pop-melody, repetitive driving rhythms and quieter parts proves they write great songs, not just great parts.
Vocally, though, Amanda Woodward is unstable. The vocals are well-delivered and well-placed, but a band this good deserves something to set it apart. Here, they’re not varied enough, and some of the album’s best parts are its sparse spoken-word parts.
Even if emo/screamo/hardcore isn’t your music of choice, don’t ignore La Decadence de la Decadence. Musically intelligent and sonically elegant, the album will garner more fans than some others in the genre. And if you do ignore it, do so because you’re not French and you’re bummed you’ll never be that cool.