Mémoires Incubussiennes is the tale of two recording sessions, held 34 years apart. In 1974 a young group of Québecois musicians who then went by the name of Incubus, had a chance to fly to France and record in the famous Strawberry Studio, which had seen the likes of The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, and Elton John. Once there they were able to record some of their original material, having access to instruments such as the mellotron. From this session, 4 tracks were retained and they form the first half of this disc, being released for the first time ever.
Fast forward to 2007 and a core trio of musicians from the 1974 band, along with 2 newer members, decide to complete a dream of releasing a full-fledged album by digging up 4 additional tracks from their earlier incarnation and re-recording them. Since the name Incubus was already taken, they decided to alter theirs to ExCubus.
But enough of the history of the band, let's talk about the music. Primarily an instrumental affair, the tracks are heavily keyboard driven. The tracks seem primarily quirky and playful (especially the earlier numbers), yet still contain a certain complexity. The emphasis was on the compostion and not the chops. The tracks are mostly shorter numbers yet still retain a patently '70s progressive sound. I'm hard pressed to find comparisons, but I'd say they that if you took a little bit of québecois bands like Sloche and Opus 5, and mixed in a little bit of Pangée, you'd get a general idea of ExCubus' sound, although I don't think they're on par with any of these bands. Their sound is firmly rooted in the analog keyboard driven symphonic progressive rock that was prevalent in Québec in the 1970's (although the guitar is much more prevalent in the 2007 tracks), but I'd say they were definitely a second tier band. I think it's safe to assume that they recorded their best material in 1974, as the opening 4 tracks seem stronger than the ones recorded in 2007. It is obvious though that these songs were all born around the same era, as there is a cohesiveness to the album. The musicianship in 2007 seems just as strong as it was in 1974 which will make their appearance at this year's FMPM festival in Montreal quite interesting.
An interesting footnote to the Québecois progressive history, ExCubus (Incubus) are decent if not just a tad repetetive. By today's standards, they would stand out of the pack a little bit, but when comparing them to the greats "La Belle Province" was producing in the 70s, it's easy to see why they never quite made the grade. Nevertheless, ProgQuébec have done a wonderful job of resurrecting this music, and once again, their presentation of it is above reproach.
- Bléatis (4:20)
- Abomination D'Une Quarte De Triton (3:32)
- Parole De L'Armée De Verre (Au Matin) (5:31)
- Teeth (5:03)
- Apple Tree Paradise (6:02)
- Tales Of The Tree (4:48)
- Pendergast (8:52)
- A Child's Funeral (3:41)