After reviewing "Planetfall" from the Australian band Brainstorm back in 2012, I pointed out the dilemma of obtaining background info on the band's history since there were at least a dozen international bands with the same name. Sifting through the fray to pinpointing the exact band proved to be a bit of an endeavor - like getting lost in a corn maze on Halloween.
Once again I found myself facing a similar dilemma when reviewing "Le Ver Dans Le Fruit", the 2013 release from the French band Nemo.
For starters, there are at least 18 artists recording under the name NEMO which include:
And to make matters even more confusing two progressive rock bands that hail from France.
- A Japanese post-punk/alternative rock band.
- A Korean-American Los Angeles based punk band that broke up and reformed as Red Team Go!
- An English electro rock/neo-synth band from North London.
- A Belgian rock band from the 90’s.
- A now-defunct guitar-noise band from Winnipeg, Manitoba.
- A dance-rock, nu metal and reggae influenced band from Mainz, Germany.
- A Chip-Hop artist (what-ever that might be).
- A Finnish rock-band
- A Rapper from Denmark.
- A Rapper from Germany
- A Slovenian acoustic rock/metal band (acoustic metal! Is that even possible?)
- An indie rock/new wave band from Brooklyn, NY.
- An orchestral Nightwish/Evanescence cover band from Jena, Germany.
- An Estonian pop band,
- A rock band from Bulgaria.
- A hip-hop artist from Lexington, KY.
- A rock band from Greenville, NC
(Nemo Number One ...)
Between 1972 through 1975 the expanded ensemble of Francois Breant (keyboards and lead vocals), Marc Perru (guitar, vocals), Pascal Arroyo (bass and piano), Clement Bailly (drums), Emmanuel Lacordaire (assorted percussion, guitar), José Bartel (tumbas and gongs), Ronnie James (trumpet), Arthur Young (trumpet), Albert Marcoeur (saxophone, clarinet), and Claude Samard (dobro) formed the avant jazz fusion group Nemo, releasing the albums Nemo (1973) and Doin' Nothin' (1974) before disbanding soon afterward in 1975.
(Nemo Number Two ...)
This brings us to the correct Nemo responsible for recording the absolutely astounding double-CD "Le Ver Dans Le Fruit" on the Progressive Promotions Records label.
Since the band's inception somewhere around 2000 the band has amassed an impressive eight studio albums ("Les nouveaux mondes" - 2002, "Présages" - 2003, "Prélude à la Ruine" - 2004, "Si Partie I" - 2006, "Si Partie II - L'Homme Idéal" - 2007, "Barbares" - 2009, " R€volu$ion" - 2011, and "Le Ver Dans Le Fruit " 2013; as well as three live albums "Immersion Publique" - 2005, "Si - Live" - 2009, and the DVD and double-CD collection "La Machine à Remonter les Temps" - 2010). And with each new release the band's reputation and growing popularity has made them one of the leading progressive rock acts in France.
Each subsequent release displayed a higher level of sophistication in the band's compositions. The style changes were ever so slight as the band transitioned from Dream Theater, Symphony X and Rush comparisons, expanding to such diverse artists as King Crimson, Return To Forever, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Van Der Graaf Generator, Porcupine Tree, and Pink Floyd as the band infused elements of fusion, Celtic, Canterbury, and symphonic prog into their expanding repertoire.
And with "Le Ver Dans Le Fruit" Nemo has refined and encapsulated 13 years of experience into an ambitious project, drawing upon those collective influences to create their most impressive work to date.
Creating an epic anti-establishment concept album, warning the listener against manipulation from the constant barrage of propaganda we face each day from the mass media, political parties, religious organizations, TV Networks and their big corporate sponsors.
The message running throughout the album ... question everything! Even the very message and motive of the band themselves.
Trust no one.
Who is it that actually benefits when we follow pre-established rules? Is it for our benefit? The benefit of society? The good of mankind? Or the benefit of a chosen few who make the rules to line their pockets .
Of course, as the lyrics are in French, I'm forced to rely on the attached promo sheet for my facts. Leaving me to wonder ... should I trust 'this is' the actual message of the album - of have I been manipulated and duped as well? Now I understand why the band warned on the promo sheet ... "beware of everything, even Nemo".
The band members include: Jean Pierre Louveton (guitar, vocals), Guillaume Fontaine (keyboards, backing vocals), Lionel B Guichard (bass), and Jean Baptiste Itier (drums).
As a point of reference the music of Nemo on "Le Ver Dans Le Fruit" is very similar to the more recent outings from the post-Neal Morse era Spock's Beard, as well elements of Porcupine Tree and Lark's Tongue era King Crimson. The 12 tracks range in length from the opening 2:01 acapella chorus of "Stipant Luporum" to a bombastic 17:19 epic "Arma Diania". The music is a rich eclectic blend of hard driving rockers, complex multi-layered instrumentals, and beautiful hook laden melodies all housed in a well designed multi-disc digipak with beautiful artwork from Stan-W Decker, and an equally beautiful 16 page insert booklet - a work of art in it's own right.
Another contender for Top 10 releases of 2013.
Reviewed by Joseph Shingler on December 15th, 2013