released July 15, 2016
Os Noctàmbulos - Stranger released 15th July 2016 on Ltd Edition Vinyl/CD/Cassette/Digital by Stolen Body Records. Pre Order here - stolenbodyrecords.co.uk/product/os-noctambulos-stranger/
Baldo – Drums/Percussion
Coline Presley – Bass/Backing Vox
Nick Wheeldon – Vox/Rhythm Guitar/Piano/Organ/Rhodes
Valentin Buchens – Lead Guitar
Recorded by Baldo at Corsica Garden - Winter 2014 & Spring 2015
All Tracks by Os Noctàmbulos
Backing Vocals on 'Not Everyone' by Fanny Chiressi
Produced by Nick Wheeldon
Mastered by Chris Hardman
Artwork by Lucas Donaud
Alex Studer & Stolen Body Records, Thom Bettney & Evil Hoodoo Records, Alex & Ettienne at Croque Macadam & Requiem Pour Un Twister Records, Lucas Donaud, Martin Ross Butler, Christophe Lopez-Huici at Bananas Magazine, Nathan Ford at The Active Listener, Les Punaises, Pain Dimension, Dusty Mush, Factotum, The Scrap Dealers, Stephen Gillet et Ruth Geronimo at Let’s Party Collective, Jean Louis Massardier & all at Raymond Bar, Bruno Cortex, La Source Studio, Twister Goolax, Ben Borneo, All at Psychedelic Revoloution, Go!zilla, The Storm Makers, Lo Spider, Tristan Gaudiaut, Virginie Benazeth, Boris & Eddy at Yummy Radio, All at Espace B, Topper Harley & all at la Mecanique Ondulatoire, Born Bad Record Shop, Regal, Forever Pavot, The Blondi’s Salvation, Bruce & Carl, White Ass, Underground Transmissions, Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapour, Electric Retro Spectrum & Child Orgasm, Paperhead, Cannery Terror, The Norvins, The Blind Shake, Manuel Gomez, All at Ah Bon Productions & La Peniche, Movie Star Junkies, All at Joe Tex Café, The Cayman Kings, Polly & Ollie at Acid Box Productions, Jo Flynn, Entracte Twist, BMC & Terrence Christiansen, Alexandre Coulot and all at Let’s Twist Komintern, Le Lezard, Vague, The Black Needles, Sasha Alex Chacha, Agnés Eynard et Marc Boulot, Marker, Miles Coombes, All at Basement Studios. Francoise, Oscar, Emile. Mitou, Jacko, Rachel, Sophie, Emile, Alex & Sabrina. Kevin, Janet & Liz. Polly/Kitkit! Laura & Camilla. Jimbo, Matty D & Olly B. Gonzaï Magazine, Beat Mark, Freaky Loud Things & Arrache Toi Un Oeil. Fanny Chiressi, Robert E Lee, Chris Hardman and Thierry & Family at Le Condor. C.
From Shindig! Magazine
With reverberating, angst-ridden vocals
submerged beneath jangling guitars, this
Paris-based band hark back to late ’80s indie
as much as they do to mid-60s garage.
Velvet Underground-style treble runs drill into
your ears over chiming, Byrdsian 12-string
riffs, while the warm Farfi sa organ brings
more than a hint of The Seeds to
proceedings. English frontman Nick
Wheeldon's vocals may be buried in the mix,
but achieve more full-throated passion than
most of his mumbling contemporaries as he
frantically negates received psychedelic
wisdom: the circle never was broken, they
don’t need your medication, and not
everyone needs somebody to love.
The whole LP clocks in at just 29
minutes, but Os Noctambulos know that
great garage-psych makes a virtue of brevity
and directness rather than stoned-out
jamming. Furthermore there’s a playful strut
to these nine near-perfect nuggets that
eschews the current vogue for maximum
heaviness in favour of something altogether
more nimble and charming.
Words by Ben Graham
From Rock & Folk
Depuis deux ans, Os Noctàmbulos animent les soirées parisiennes de leur rock garage à la couleur sixties. Après avoir récemment envoyé un formidable single digne des Seeds ("Outsider"), Os Noctambulos se montrent d'humeur psychédélique sur ce deuxième album empli de claviers spectraux et de guitares surf. Une fois de plus, Nick Wheeldon impressionne ("Changes") et démontre qu'il est un chanteur passionnant.
Words by Eric Delsart
From Bananas Magazine
Os Noctàmbulos' much anticpated (atleast by me) second album, and it sure doesn't dissapoint! The band alternate between some moody numbers, such as the hazy opener 'Changes' which features uncharacteristically gentle vocals; and some real scorchers such as medication which bring in some subtle oriental flavours. One of my favourite tracks 'The Circle Ain't Broken' which constantly switches gear, and sees Nick's vocals going from gentle to completely unleashed, sounds like something Jeffrey Lee Pierce could have written.
All in all, a very strong album with their trademark surf/garage/psych sound mixed to some excellent brooding compositions and Nick's poignant vocals.
Words by Christophe Lopez-Huici
From Whisperin & Hollerin
This band are based in Paris although singer and rhythm guitarist Nick is originally from England and this is their second album. It was recorded in three one day sessions on reel-to-reel tape and to my ears this is a contemporary psych album, with touches of garage and indie as well. I like the distorted photograph artwork too.
'Changes' is a slow-burning starter that sounds a bit like Rats On Rafts. After that it goes all Echo & The Bunnymen. 'Not Everyone' is the lead single and we're in garage surf twang country. It sounds old. It sounds good. 'Jordi Taught Me' ambles along. The singer sounds rough as guts, even though he can sing, which deserves a small round of applause. The tape is pretty dusty, must be. 'Medication' would probably make a good single but it would have to be AM radio. 'The Circle Ain't Broken has just about enough country to be Johnny Cash. 'Control' and 'No More Tears' I like a lot as well. The first of those is simple and effective and carried along on a good melody and the second is similar in tone. It's a good mix of stuff on this album and that's down to the songs as much as the production.
Words by Leo Newbiggin
From Your Daily Record
Psychedelic rock with splashes of surf and swathes of Americana (which is odd, because their name is mangled Spanish and Portuguese, and the band itself is from France).
Origins aside, this is an old-fashioned kind of record that really works its way under your skin, but it has enough originality and surprises to keep your attention. Solid recommend.
Words by Your Daily Record
From God Is In The Tv
Apparently, Stranger, the second full length release by the Paris based retro-psych merchants Os Noctambulos is “an album about isolation, claustrophobia, immigration and the strange times we live in“. Oddly though, it takes you a while before you actually pay any attention to the lyrics. This is not meant as a flippant putdown, however, it’s just that the tunes are so vibrant that you can’t help getting carried away by them. They could be singing about a donkey playing chess with a clockwork doughnut for all I care, it all still sounds abundantly appealing.
‘The Circle Ain’t Broken‘ is somewhere between The Gun Club and Violent Femmes, whereas ‘Not Everyone‘ sounds like Hank Marvin playing guitar for The Coral whilst high on amphetamines. ‘Handcuffs‘ is akin to The Byrds jamming with The Chocolate Watchband, but on double speed and in the process becoming a two minute encapsulation of all the best party ingredients of the late sixties.
Of course, comparisons with Temples are inevitable, but this seems a somewhat lazy reference point, for Os Noctambulos have a rawer edge to them than Kettering’s finest. Perhaps a closer likeness of sound would be that of LA’s garage revivalists the Allah-Las. While the latter band have a “sunnier” feel though, Stranger does seem to carry the ominous threat of thunderclouds throughout its duration. Finale ‘No More Tears‘ though, is more of a straightforward – albeit fairly uptempo – sixties ballad, with a defiant stride, coming across like the garage rock sibling of ‘I Will Survive‘ (well, lyrically anyway – you certainly couldn’t accuse Os Noctambulos of being disco connoisseurs!) and it’s nice that we end on such a positive note, despite the palpable hurt ensconced within.
While you could argue that there are too many bands of this ilk out there right now, you would have to admit that few do it as effectively as Os Noctambulos. Stranger is easy on the ear, and when they get it truly right, like on the swampy blues rock of ‘Jordi Taught Me‘, they can be quite spectacular. A fine follow up indeed.
Words Loz Etheridge
From Sound Blab
On Stranger, psych surf rockers, Os Noctàmbulos quite effectively commute the laidback psych indie sounds of Brian Jonestown Massacre, with the urgency of 1960s surf and rockabilly groups. They’re very similar to Canadian group, The Surfdusters from the 1990s, but not as thorny as artists such as Dex Romweber, or as obviously contemporary as Los Straitjackets, or White Fence.
The Fender driven 1960- inspired sound is back-dropped by lashings of Farfisa organ, and the kind of garage aesthetic characterising the style. If you’ve become disillusioned by the overuse of the term ‘psych’, it serves well to recall that the bedrock of that music existed 50 years ago, and Os Noctàmbulos’s pop nuggets make no attempt to dissolve the influence, but rather pay significant homage to it. What’s interesting is how they vary up the tempos and arrangements, evident immediately on opener ‘Changes’ with its jangly reverbed guitars and assured vocals traversing the stereo channels. ‘Changes’ is hardly indicative of the album as a whole, and time placement is a contemporary one, unlike follow-up ‘Not Everyone’ which is a time-capsuled pop nugget classic in the offing, and would have slotted perfectly into Kayes’s Nuggets compilation.
‘Medication’ comes on like a rockabilly hoedown if only it had been sung by Roky Erickson, and ‘The Circle Aint Broken’ sounds even more like an International Records production, with its nod to outlaw country.
Which brings us to standout number, ‘Wandering Light’ a track that manages to communicate everything great about early pop-psych, the guitars leading simple variations into the kind of narcotic dance chorus lampooned by the Monkees on the movie, Head. Or were they lampooning themselves? That’s the trouble with recalling student days.
Stranger ultimately is probably derivative, but who cares when so much fun can be had.
Words by Rob Taylor
From Drowned In Sound
What strikes me about Paris-based psych surf rockers Os Noctambulos is just how small a band they are. They’re on a tasteful yet tiny independent label, they’re playing 100-cap venues in London, and have very few social media followers. Meaning they’re on a desert island in contrast to the following equally strong retro revivalists Night Beats, and many other Heavenly Records signees, who’ve helped bring back the bob, sideburns, the polo neck have. It’s not like their 2014 debut album was bad – it’s bizarre how they’ve not caught on.
Nevertheless, hopefully Stranger will change all this and it will start a surge of interest in the band. It’s stronger than their very good debut for one. On the debut, English-born singer Nick Wheeldon, previously of Sheffield-based The Jesus Loves Heroin Band, was more in the passenger seat, as the surf rock / Shadows-esque guitar were the main intrigue. On Stranger the singer seems more confident in terms of expression, and it’s easier to pick out a good song..
My favourites include opener 'Changes', on which the reverb-soaked vox nod to Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Pol Pot's Pleasure Penthouse and it also has that loose, trance-like feel. Also, second track ‘Not Everyone’ conjures up memories of listening to The Coral’s more abstract moments, and has a heart-on-sleeve rawness that only a singer who’s battling his demons and getting over it through dripping sweat into his microphone would manage.
Intriguingly, the cut ‘Medication’, on which the words "I don’t want your medication" ring out, indicate it may be something that creeps into the band from time to time. Looking back to Wheeldon’s previous band , he had a song called ‘Tired Of Being In Control’, so although I know very little of his history, it seems genuine emotional fragility could play into a lot of the music.
Elsewhere, ‘The Circle Ain’t Broken’ is another raw rock delight, reminiscent of feral garage punk of The Orwells on one hand whilst keeping the trademark Os Noctambulos revivalist sound on another.
As a whole, despite some dark themes, the record isn’t impenetrable to the masses who want to stay happy. People who want some upbeat revivalist psych/garage surf/ will be able to shake their hips and pretend that the internet doesn't exists. This is about as intimately connected to the Sixties as anything else new you'll hear this week.
Words by Cai Trefor
From Monolith Cocktail
Troubled by the tribulations, torments and ills of the modern world – but then apart from hedge fund investors, ISIS and Putin, who isn’t worried? – the Paris-based Os Noctàmbulos haven chosen to envelope their concerns in the Sundazed age of the garage band phenomenon. In the shadow of the Calico Wall, returning to the source, they funnel a mix of the Tex-Mex Hammond broody Outcasts, The New Breed and ? And The Mysterians, and the dirty country psych and blues of The Seeds, Syndicate of Sound and New Colony Six.
Following up a smattering of releases the four-piece return to Stolen Body Records for their second album, ‘Strange’. With renewed confidence – so the press release says – they bounce back with a mix of backbeat psych, acid country and an ever-present suffused organ swell. Skulking for ‘Changes’, rallying against ‘Medication’ or, sulking like teen creeps up to no good in the dead of night, lurking around in the crypt, on ‘Jodi Taught Me’, Os Noctàmbulos apply a hallucinatory lo fi veil to their raw and live kicking sound throughout.
Every generation finds something nuanced and different, mostly a result of the times they’re living in, to add to the beat and garage band blueprint. And with traces of both 80s revivalists The Gruesomes, and a group that started off all in paisley homage to the psych forbearers, The Stone Roses, the band find enough depth and space to offer their own unique take with Stranger. They also do it a lot better than most of the current bunch.
Words by Dominic Valvona
From Flipside Reviews
Paris-based Os Noctàmbulos follow up their 2014 debut-album Corsica Garden with something of a departure and an uplift in both sound and confidence. With its roots firmly embedded in '60s garage-rock and psych-pop, Stranger is a bold, if retrospective, collection of fuzzy Farfisa-driven nuggets.
Not Everyone is an obvious pop classic that transcends the collective musical threshold of The Doors, Inspiral Carpets, 13th Floor Elevators and The Castaways, while Medication is a full-on pill-popping bong-smokin' hoedown that recalls Spiritualized at the most fervent. Singer Nick Wheeldon brings a degree of British blues and West Coast hollering to the mix, ably demonstrated on the rasping The Circle Ain't Broken and the insistent Handcuffs. It's all very much a potent gumbo of psychedelic hoodoo and mid-west voodoo.
And when Os Noctàmbulos aren't banging heads and knocking boots, they're crafting woozier country-rock on the likes of Control and the opener Changes, still retaining that spiralling rainbow-coloured hue throughout. If you'll step this way with your eyes, ears and open arms, this Stranger ain't no stranger anymore.
Words by Paul Pledger
If anything about the appeal for the transcendent yet infectious sounds of surf-ridden psychedelia inspired you to check out Os Noctàmbulos , then you’re right where you are supposed to be. So, by all means take this second to plug in and flip the volume nob to it’s properly adjusted, borderline deafening level. Done right, this listen will invoke the joys of total and overwhelming sonic damnation. As you reach this plain of tranquility the experience will yield the desperation of Stranger’s eerie invocations of garage laden psych rock n’ roll. After a few spins, it should be clear that there is a certain comfortableness that comes from Os Noctàmbulos. It’s kind of familiar, like that of contemporaries Allah-Las. Both groups have a style that borders on the warmness of 1960’s psychedelic nostalgia, but with much needed refreshing feel. By this, I mean as one listens to Stranger, one could let the mind wander to tracks like “Not Everyone” or “Control” and still manage to dance as if under some sort of spell. Mind you, if you find your companions are not in same state of mind as yourself, make sure that the punch is spiked with something good. After this, dive back in to Stranger digest the more upbeat and subtly provoking numbers like the organ heavy “Jordi Taught Me,” the rocking and rolling “Handcuffs” and the wildly defiant “Medication.” Once immersed, you’ll find Os Noctàmbulos’ Stranger will have you willfully surrendering mind, body and soul to move and groove.
Words by Nick Kuzmack
From Rock A La Casbah
Quel plaisir ! Quel honneur! Peu ou pas assez de mots pour décrire le sentiment ressenti par l'équipe de Rock à la Casbah de présenter en exclusivité le nouvel album d'Os Noctàmbulos !
Le retour d'Os Noctàmbulos ? Un rêve prémonitoire qui se réalise. Tout le monde a un groupe qu'il aime tout particulièrement. Vous savez, ce groupe dont la musique résonne tout au fond de son cœur. Moi, c'est eux. Avec "Corsica Garden", premier album d'Os Noctàmbulos, on tenait la bande-son d'un film sur l'épopée d'un groupe des années 60. Vous savez, le genre de groupe qu'on écoute en boucle pendant les douces soirées d'été. Véritable ode aux sixties, la musique composée par Nick et ses compères nous ramènent 50 ans en arrière, époque où tous les espoirs étaient possibles.
Avec "Stranger", deuxième opus sorti chez Stolen Body Records, le groupe franco-anglais est de retour avec un bijou poli à la perfection. Dans ce disque, on retrouve ce qui fait le sel du groupe : cette incroyable voix qui convertirait au bouddhisme le plus méchant des héros Disney, cette section rythmique qui semble prendre la forme d'un berceau entraîné par les riffs ciselés des guitares. J'ose le dire, la musique d'Os Noctàmbulos a un petit quelque chose qui touche à la perfection. Des titres comme Song for Olivier, Bad Man ou Devil Don't Hide ont bercé nombre de mes journées ces dernières années, c'était donc avec une excitation toute particulière que j'attendais ce nouvel album.
Un coucher de soleil, une douce brise d'été, être allongé dans l'herbe et des rêves plein la tête. Voilà ma tenue de combat au moment où je commence l'écoute de l'album et celle qui siéra le plus à la vôtre. Trente minutes plus tard, vous ouvrirez les yeux pour sortir d'un état devenu méditatif. Entre ces deux moments presque mystiques, vous aurez eu la chance d'entendre neuf morceaux, des rythmiques comme on en fait plus et des paroles sensées ; chose assez rare de nos jours !
Avec Changes, on commence avec un morceau hypnotique au possible. Garage ? Psyché ? Drone ? Spacerock ? Peu importe dans la mesure où on est immédiatement conquis. Notons une évolution dans la structure du morceau par rapport au premier album. Le groupe prend son temps comme pour dire : « les cocos, installez-vous, on entre dans une nouvelle phase, on s'occupe de tout ». Avec Not Everyone, on retrouve la recette magique du groupe énoncée plus haute. Le tube de l'album. Pis cette voix... Incroyable ! Et que dire de ce solo de fin !
On enchaîne avec Jordi Taught Me, titre que n'aurait pas renié les Seeds ! Je ne sais pas qui est ce Jordie mais élevons-lui une statue pour tout ce qu'il a appris au groupe ! Dans l'enchaînement avec Medication, j'y vois presque un diptyque, tant les riffs de fin/début des deux titres se complètent parfaitement. Et ces changements de rythme au cœur du morceau, tout est parfait, tout. « I don't need your medication » ne cesse de répéter Nick tel un hymne à l'indépendance, non pas anglaise mais l'indépendance d'esprit ! Suit The Circle Ain't broken, rappelant l'amour du compositeur anglais pour la country. Toujours avec classe et sans jamais tomber dans le cliché, bien entendu.
Les deux morceaux qui suivent sont pour moi les meilleurs de l'album. Sur Wandering Light, un long instrumental nous attrape et nous porte loin, très loin dans nos futures rêveries estivales. Et Handcuffs, quel titre. Un riff exceptionnel, potentiellement le meilleur jamais composé par le groupe. Deux minutes à l'efficacité diabolique. Le titre garage de l'été. Sur Control, c'est encore cet héritage 60's qui ressort. Ce groupe doit avoir été envoyé par les grands anciens pour apporter la bonne parole. En conclusion de cet album, on retrouve No More Tears, une balade où toute la classe mélodique du groupe se révèle.
C'est à ce moment-là que je me réveille, encore tout chamboulé par cette mystique sieste. Etait-ce un rêve ? En appuyant sur le bouton repeat, je compris que non.
Words by Rémi Morvan
From Penny Black Music
Os Noctambulos have produced a most excellent follow-up to last year’s rather good 'Corsica Garden'. Recorded in three days, 'Stranger' is a vibrant punchy affair with their trademark garage and country punk vibe.
The album kicks off in fine style where we find vocalist Nick Wheeldon channelling his inner Jim Morrison. 'Changes' splutters into life with a swirling cosmic opening and Byrds-esque guitars before Nick turns in probably the best vocal performance he has committed to tape so far. It's a fine track, brooding and moody, that sets the stage for the whole album.
'Stranger' does not stray far from the guidelines that the 'Nuggets' collection lays down, but the heart and soul of these songs transports the echoes of the past right into the present day.
Cuts such as 'Handcuffs' or 'Stepping Stones' are edgy and infectious, driven by some solid drumming, a relentless bass and that oh so 1960’s organ sound. Nick’s vocal delivery is strong often sounding slightly unnerved and sinister. The guitar sound is drenched in reverb, lots of fuzz as you might expect and that vintage organ grooving along nicely. 'Stranger' is hip and cool steeped in vintage stylings. Crisp production takes these uncomplicated offerings and turns them into authentic garage/surf rock.
What is most attractive about Os Noctambulos is the unpretentiousness of their work. They gig hard, tour relentlessly and get on with the job .Good honest rock and roll played in the back streets of Paris, Brussels, Sheffield, well, anywhere they can get a gig and it shows. They sound tight and wear their hearts on their sleeves.
Nick Wheeldon moonlights in another project '39th & The Nortons' where he lives out his Gram Parsons/Dylan in Woodstock fantasy, and it is no surprise that a hint of country music sneaks into 'Stranger' on 'The Circle ‘Ain't Broken', a tune that develops into wild country punk freak out.
To sum up 'Stranger' is an excellent no frills album full of catchy tunes about heartbreak . 'No More Tears' closes the album with a sense of melancholy and just a glimpse of hope. Yes, the album references the past but when the past sounds this good who cares
Words by Keith How
From Uncut Magazine
Wicked Anglo-French four-piece with wrecked Nick Cave edge.
An anglo-french outfit with a fine line in twisted surfy guitar lines, cowpunk vibes and overall Bad Seeds/Gun Club junkyard blues, Os Noctàmbulos have made a remarkably good second album. Recorded in 3 days, track's like the buzzing 'Handcuffs' or the "Stepping Stone" knock-off 'Jordi Taught Me' have them wondering closest to standard Nuggets territory - fuzzy, urgent and infectious - while 'The Circle Ain't Broken' is the most focused take on their ever present country leanings, a great jaunty howl of punk-psych-honky tonk. From the opening drone of 'Changes' to the jangly closing ballad of 'No More Tears', It's all good.
Words by Peter Watts
From Mark Losing Today
No sooner do we fondly despatch the forthcoming killer grooved Go!Zilla 7 inch that those acutely cool dudes over at Stolen Body records prep and prime another to die for nugget. ‘not everyone’ is something of a twang toned teaser heralding the July pencilled ‘stranger’ full length by Os Noctambulos, a dust ravaged slice of shade adorning shadow shimmered 60’s garage soul psyche coolly cut and fashioned in an authentic monochrome vintage that suggests it being a recently unearthed vault find from the mid 60’s all spirited upon a hazy ghosting of psych tipped keys and rumbling riffs upon whose shoulder sits Joe Meek whilst all in all imagining an all-star pairing of the Devastations and Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet putting to the spectral sonic sword the combined back catalogue of the Animals and the Misunderstood – only cool kids need apply.
Rummaging through the playlist, we’ve happily spotted the quite superb Os Noctàmbulos – didn’t they have a set fondly acclaimed here via bad afro, anyway found here serving up the uber cooled key drenched 60’s garage beat grooved ‘jordi taught me’ – a bit of a gem that stalks around in shades across a sonic landscape populated by the Troggs and the Fuzztones.
From Cone Magazine
Maybe time machines do exist, maybe the Parisian psych rockers, Os Noctambulos, have found a magic hallway that links the Southern Californian jingle-jangle of the 60s, with the shoegaze and baggy music from the 1990s? Maybe.
On first listen, Os Noctambulos’ second helping, ‘Stranger’, from Stolen Body Records might sound recycled and maybe formulaic, but soon, you realise it is a melting pot of psych-surf-pop-garage delights. There is an overwhelming feeling of familiarity here, a sense of déjà vu perhaps. But, what’s wrong with that?
Guitars are drenched in reverb, in fact everything is, and it serves up quite well. Instrumentally there’s everything you would expect from a ‘60s pop outfit, splashy drums, sharp guitars, deep bass and sparse but glistening organ and keyboard sounds. Vocally the album is strong and full of life, the lyrics are heartfelt and are full of heartache (you’d be forgiven for thinking that this band might hail from the sunny climbs of the Hollywood hills and not the streets of Paris). But this is just that, authentic sounding, California style pop served on a sepia platter.
The lo-fi production on this album fits perfectly, and adds furthermore to the authenticity of the record. Apparently recorded in three one day sessions in Paris between December of 2014 and April of last year onto tape (of course), ‘Stranger’ is a record of nostalgia but also timelessness.
However, don’t be fooled to think this is just a throwback album, much like the garage-rock renaissance that appeared at the end of the 1990s, many bands are going back to go forward these days, so-to-speak, and Os Noctambulos are doing that, and doing that well.
Stand-out tracks include lead single ‘Not Everyone’, a track brimming with nervous and pulsing energy. From the warbling organ parts and shimmering lead guitar, this song is a lo-fi slice of classic surf rock in the making. The singers haunting melodies and simple but effective lyrics are golden.
Other stand-outs include the endearing ‘No More Tears’ that ends the album in classic heartfelt sadness. The echoes of “no more tears” fill you up with a certain melancholy feeling. With ‘50s sensibility, but with modern wisdom. There’s a country twang that really lifts the sound and straddles ‘Stranger’ between upbeat pop, and down-trodden sadness. The album flitters between sunshine pop and moonlit rock effortlessly.
Os Noctambulos have really succeeded in showing their 1960’s influences on this album. You can hear The Byrds, The Zombies and have clearly listened to a Nuggets compilation once or twice. They also draw comparisons to contemporary bands like Real Estate and the more far-out psych of White Fence, and the revivalist spirit of The Brian Jonestown Massacre. (There’s even a bit of vaudeville on the intro to ‘Jordi Taught Me’!)
‘Stranger’ is a spirited and authentic take on ‘60s psychedelia and is full of sonic prowess and heart. There are songs to dance to and songs to sob to.
Stolen releases July 15th and is available to order via Stolen Body here.
Words by Oliver Southgate
From The Audiophile Man
No, this is not a Brazilian underground outfit from the 60s. Apparently, this album (the second from this Paris-based band of three years) was recorded pretty quickly between December 2014 and April 2015, in just three days. Odd that they spread those three days over such a long time, though... Thing is, it wasn’t recorded to a hard disc but to ½” tape at a home studio called Corsica Garden, featuring Baldo on percussion, Coline on Bass, Valentin on lead guitar and Nick on vocals and rhythm guitar.
In terms of style? Yes, there is the garage/psyche style that has been duly advertised all over the internet. There is also a freakbeat and psychedelic (in terms of moving towards more hallucinogenic vibes) here too. I hear it first on Jordi Taught Me which mixes the hardness and harshness of garage but also introduces a real lava lamp-esque edge that, along with the Hammond organ tones, gives you a floaty, detached feel. Also, I really can’t escape the fact that there is just a few elements of the Stone Roses in here. A sort of modern cross-over effect that inserts contemporary ideas into this classic genre.
The sound is inherently compressed. This is, after all, a celebration of an underground 60s culture which not only demanded such a sound but, through a restricted budget, had to sound like that. Hence, the master for this CD is rather forward within the upper mids but, for the nature of the beast, that doesn’t really matter. In fact, it just adds to the musical confusion which is part and parcel of the arrangement.
Words by Paul Rigby
From Long Player, Late Blogger
After Corsica Garden in 2014 who had pushed our certainties teenage girls, bone noctambulos with their second album stranger prove that they have nothing of an old satellite 60's disintegration in coming through the atmosphere. They just point to the better segregationist unconvinced anti revival and, like Rosa Parks in his time, refuse to sit at the rear of the bus. Business class throughout the flight to Mr. Nick Wheeldon and consors.
Words by Elliot Alderson
From It's Psychedelic Baby Magazine
Just in time for Fête Nationale, this Parisian garage psych quartet’s sophomore album offers accessible, guitar-driven pop tunes with an angular, jingly-jangly edge. They’ve been together for three years and are as tight as a monkey’s bum, with excellent musicianship throughout.
Guitarists Nick Wheeldon and Valentin Buchens serpentine around each other to create an awesome wall of (guitar) sound that delivers exciting melodies. Lead single ‘Not Everyone’ should capture a lot of airplay, with its incessant, Green On Red-gone-surf beat, and ‘Jordi Taught Me’ swaggers like a gothic Jonathan Richman.
‘Medication’ explores Spacemen 3 and Brian Jonestown Massacre’s more garagey tendencies, ‘The Circle Ain’t Broken’ offers wild-eyed, drunken surf insanity, and there’s a rather funky, groovy body swerve to the soulful ‘Control’. Closer ‘No More Tears’ even offers a rather touching, tears-in-your-Bière ballad.
It’s all very lo-fi, sloppy, druggy, drunken fun – perfect to kick off those Fête Nationale celebrations ... and the Summer fun that lies ahead! File under Danny & Dusty, French-style. So meet me at the local Frog and Rosbif, crack me open another Bière du Démon and let’s get this Fête started.
Words by Jeff Penczak
From Fast 'N' Bulbous / No.4 in Best Garage/Psych Albums 2016
Last year, Tame Impala and Jacco Gardner set the tone for the psychedelic summer with a fairly upbeat mix of electro psych and bucolic pop. It’s fitting with all the horrendous murder sprees and ugly politics that this year’s crop would be darker and dirtier. Lola Colt, reviewed here, put out an album that rivals The Drones for album of the year so far, a benchmark in psych noir. Heading the rest of the crop are some garage noir bands, Os Noctàmbulos, Night Beats, The Mystery Lights and The Murlocs.
The latest release came on July 15 from French band Os Noctàmbulos, the follow-up to Corsica Garden (2014). This is pretty straight up retro garage psych inspired by the Nuggets, Pebbles, Rubble compilations and Chocolate Soup For Diabetics, Real Life Permanent Dreams, The Perfumed Garden. However, plenty of bands have tried to emulate the magic by simply assembling a Fender, Farfisa and Rhodes and hope the sounds fall into place. But to be able to put together an entire live set I would care to stick around for. Their first album had lots of promising tracks, but their second consistently nails just about every song. Brit ex-pat Nick Wheeldon (formerly of Sheffield-based The Jesus Loves Heroin Band) puts some heart into the vocals, ranging from croons to terrified shrieks. “Changes” starts with an ominous organ chord, but soon blossoms into an expansive, hopeful tune with a great ascending melody. The catchy “Not Everyone” sounds like a long-lost single from one of the aforementioned compilations. Possibly their best song yet is the deliciously menacing “Jordi Taught Me.” However this concise album clocking in under a half hour is packed with memorable tunes to the point where you’d think it’s a compilation itself. “The Circle Ain’t Broken” combines a Western noir vibe with a frantic chorus that’s pure psycho punk. “Wandering Light” is another gem with a subtle melodicism that grows under your skin.
Words By A.S. Van Dorston
From the article Psychedelic Psummer: Return To The Dark Side
From Louder Than War
The Parisian combo are back with an excellent second LP that sees them broaden their sound and pass the test of the difficult second album with success. Louder Than War’s Craig Chaligne reviews.
Formed in Paris in 2013, Os Noctambulos are moving along nicely with a second album that came out last month and several tours under their belt. This new release follows a successful British tour that was reviewed by Louder Than War. From the few bars of organ opening “Changes” to the coda of “No More Tears”, the band shows that they have refined their sound, keeping the garage and psych influences from their debut but chiselling them in the process. The result is a record that feels like a natural evolution but manages to retain the freshness of “Corsica Gardens”.
Recorded in the home studio of drummer Baldo in the Paris suburbs, the album revels in stomping garage numbers such as “Medication” or “Jordi Taught Me” where they channel american sixties garage rocks to the perfection but always retaining their surf influence thanks to Valentin’s incisive guitar leads. The rhythm section of Coline and Baldo motors along nicely planting a solid groove on which the guitars can express themselves. “The Circle Ain’t Broken” sounds like “Circle Sky” by The Monkees with Sky Saxon on lead vocals.
The album is short and sweet clocking under 30 mins. They have decided to keep up a pace more common with the sixties as they are currently recording tracks for their third album. Lead singer Nick Wheeldon continues to participate in numerous side projects. He is touring the UK this month with Franco-US band “Les Bicyclettes Blanches” and regularly plays with his side projects Dead Melodies and The 39th and the Nortons, a modern day Graham Day to sum things up !!!
Words by Craig Chaligne
From Speak Into My Good Eye
Stationed in Paris, the band Os Noctàmbulos- which consists of Baldo (Drums), Coline (Bass), Valentin (Lead Guitar) & Nick (Vox/Rhythm Guitar) -emits a curious energy that encompasses a plethora of psych, surf, and garage. A 60’s vibe, hazy and smooth, with lyrics that always seem to teeter on the edge of some sort of tripped out nostalgia.
Their latest release, Stranger, is definitely an experimental album, and the thing is, it works…beautifully so. Nick’s voice haunts the soul. It howls through the night, aching to deliver glacial seclusion riddled with unrest, bleating out the woes of these peculiar times we live in, and shaking with passionate insanity.
The music is something out of a Tarantino-type film, peculiar and precise, it jolts us back into the jungle days of 60’s jubilance. The tracks carry a spurt of Country and massive amounts of garage/psych, all blended together with a sweeping amount of surf that carries us into the next track where we kneel down and pray for more.
Lead single, “Not Everyone” is a song for those who walk their own path- perhaps a winding path, covered in weeds- where strange gnome-like creatures sprinkle psychedelic faerie dust over your eyelids. It’s a song about people who think outside the box, who do not fit within the confines of society nor do they desire to. It’s a song about the forgotten people of the world, the hidden souls; the “shadows” who lurk in the dark, condemning corners of this Earth.
I think Stranger was a smart choice for the name of the latest album from Os Noctàmbulos as it depicts what one feels when listening to the tracks. You will not yet know whether or not to trust this music, but you’ll be mesmerized by that feeling uncertainty; obsessed with the darkness- in all its beautiful tragedy. Perhaps it will touch a dark corner within you.
Words by Brianne Addison
From Gypsy, Death & You
Sometimes I find a band that I spend ages listening to thinking I can write some words about them that I think do them justice. Then I have those times where I don’t even think one semi-decent sentence is enough. That’s how I feel about the band I’m listening to right now. Whatever I write about them will not convey just how incredible they really are, just so you know. So you might as well not bother reading this and just go listen to Os Noctàmbulos right away.
Os Noctàmbulos are one of the finest bands right now roaming the mean streets of Paris. Their sound is dark, intense and like a seductive blow to the brain. It’s like meeting your dream person and falling in love instantly. Over and over. They make the kind of music that’ll make your body gently sway and your mind float away. They don’t sound like anything else you’ve heard in a long time, probably. I first heard of them a while back on my copy of the Vegetarian Meat compilation. I heard them and I was hooked, and delved into all they’ve done. Their sultry and relaxed sound is perfect for those who are content with taking something slightly sinister yet toned down over straight up noise. They sound like a real 60s Garage Rock band. If Paris had a sound, it would be these guys. I wandered round Paris once, a few years ago. Around some graveyards and record stores. I found a copy of Count Five’s Psychotic Reaction and felt like I had won the lottery. Os Noctàmbulos evoke that beautiful atmosphere that Paris conjures up on a damp November day. I also ate too many cheese sandwiches that day.
For me, these guys are one of those band that again, combine everything I love and want from music- and make it their own. Over the summer they released Stranger. Stranger is a group of solid songs that will set you off into a trance. Spin, whirl and fall into a deep trance. Don’t snap out of it, just keep falling into it. Fall into these hypnotic 60s grooves. This is the kind of band my mum would probably dig, and that’s not an insult. Far from it.
Stranger is one of the most underrated records of the year and if I decide to list my favourite records of the year in a few months, I’ll definitely have this in my top 5. Although I am rubbish at making a decision, I am sure of the music I have loved this year and Os Noctàmbulos are one of the bands that have truly blown whatever is left of my mind this year.
I love music that makes you feel like you’re in a certain place, a city. Sometimes a place you’ve never been, sometimes somewhere entirely familiar. Os Noctàmbulos do take you into the unknown but they also have a familiar sound about them. I know my obsession for them will grow and probably spiral out of control, but I don’t care. I’ve never seen them live, but I am fairly sure that their live shows would be nothing short of perfect and inspiring.
Regardless of what you’re into, I’m pretty sure that Os Noctàmbulos will appeal to you. Something in their lyrics and in the music will stir something inside of you, like they did to me. I can only hope they do. Sure they’ll make you want to start a band, any decent band will make you feel that way but if anything, Os Noctàmbulos will make you want to invest all your free time in finding as much music as possible and going to as many shows as possible. Bands like this don’t come around often- treasure them dearly.
The majestic and magnetic sounds of Os Noctàmbulos will send you off where you need to go in no time. Don’t let anyone interrupt or take that feeling from you.
Words by Olivia Cellamare
From Thoraxo Blog / Disques Préférés 2016
Encore un album cette année, le deuxième (si on ne compte pas la demi-face du split-album avec les Plantins, qui avait déjà précédé "Corsica garden"). C'est toujours aussi bon, avec des sommets fascinants comme Jordi taught me ou Wandering light. Purs arpèges de guitares à la fois mélancoliques et pleins d'entrain. Un mixage qui manque peut-être un peu de graves dans son équilibre général, mais on s'en fout, c'est déjà tellement bien!
Words by Levieux Thorax
From Rock À La Casbah - Top 5 de 2016
4/ Os Noctàmbulos - Stranger (Stolen body records)
L’album qui fait revivre ce que vous n’avez jamais vécu
Os Noctàmbulos agit comme une bonne vieille madeleine de Proust : instantanément. Quelques notes suffisent pour exhaler immédiatement le parfum des sixties saupoudré d’un peu de folie à la Kim Fowley et de sauvagerie à la Sky Saxon. La musique du diable, comme on l’aime.
Words by Laetitia Lacourt
From Hirsuite Fanzine
OS NOCTAMBULOS, quatre parisiens dans le vent. Mais de quel vent s’agit-il donc là ? De celui qui soufflait au milieu des sixties, aux USA, lorsque les buvards ne servaient plus à éviter les taches d’encre mais bien à vous en faire découvrir des plus colorées les unes que les autres. 9 titres à la production conforme à ce que l’on pouvait entendre vers 1966 outre Atlantique.
Cet album s’ouvre à nous avec « Changes », un titre de plus de 5 minutes où l’intro au Rhodes laisse place à une composition nuancée au tempo lent, tout comme le titre qui clôture cet album « No more tears ». Ce dernier, de plus de 4 minutes, plutôt mélancolique débute lentement pour laisser s’échapper quelques montées en puissance. « The circle ain’t broken » flirt avec le Folksong, mais rien d’étonnant pour un groupe dont les influences puisent dans le milieu des sixties.
Un excellent album de Garage Rock aux tentations Psychédéliques qui ici et là nous rappellent les 13th FLOOR ELEVATORS, THE SEEDS (pour certaines intonations à la SKY SAXON) ou THE ELECTRIC PRUNES. Hâte de les voir en live !
Words by John Hirsuite