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Noblesse ObligeNoblesse Oblige
Privilege Entails Responsibility (Horseglue)




A cabaret duo for a post-everything world, Noblesse Oblige do dirty disco and tenebrous torch songs with a certain attitude that suggests they're equally at home in the gutter or among the stars. There's variety here, and no mistake. If you wanna dance, then you can certainly get a groove on to the delightfully sleazy boystown of 'Bitch' or the phat industrio-slam of 'Bite Back'. If you want to spook yourself, try the lope and croon of 'Was Keine Zeit Zers Toret'. Or if you want to capture the feeling of a wine-fuelled night in Montparnasse, then step out to the marching rhythm of 'Quel Genre De Garcon'. And if you really want to test your liberal sensibilities, try 'Offensive Nonsense', on which Noblesse Oblige express baleful antipathy towards Muslims, Jews, Christians, Tories, Communists...well, everyone who's ever put their faith in anything, really.

It's all delivered with a touch of raised-eyebrow wit and neat, minimal arrangements, which, with only a small suspension of disbelief on the part of the listener, conjure up velvet-trimmed back rooms and late-night dives, partitioned cities and cars with yellow headlamps. It strikes me that Noblesse Oblige are a very European band - a possibly superflous observation, you might think, given that the vocals on this album arrive courtesy of either Valerie's dry French tones or the deadpan German accent of Sebastian. But there's more to it than that. You simply couldn't imagine this collection of left-bank sleazery and arch humour emanating from theNoblesse Oblige USA, or indeed anywhere on that side of the Atlantic. You need a certain European perspective to come up with a song entitled 'Night Train To Krakow' - and deliver it with a sypmpathy that creates the distinct impression that Noblesse Oblige have caught that very train on many occasions. Noblesse Oblige regard the world from the vantage point of a backstreet bar somewhere in Old Europe's most decadent quarter, and they soundtrack their observations with artful flair and a warped, witty pop sensibility.




Essential links:

Noblesse Oblige: Website | MySpace

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  Page credits: Review, photo and construction by Uncle Nemesis.
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