Looking at the cover of Je Suis France’s new digital album By the Condo, I fully expected a joke band. A good one, hopefully, like Rump Posse. Remember those guys? That shit was funny. Instead, jokes take a back seat to a more surrealistic approach. There are probably inside jokes hidden throughout the album (punk bands of all stripes get away with that all the time), but this isn’t just a bunch of buddies trying to prove they’re the wackiest guys at the bar. It’s a very clever rock record that doesn’t get derailed by bad humor or forced nostalgia.
Angular guitar rock (“Gonna Waste My Time”), electronic instrumentals (“Homemade Alf Sweatshirt”), lo-fi pop (“Zealand”), and a handful of other fancy ways to say rock ‘n’ roll pop up throughout this 10-song collection, putting over the range of talents in this multi-piece ensemble. In all, it’s as smart as it’s silly. Playing 529 with a bunch of other bands Nov. 17th.