New album of France’s seminal Postpunk/New Wave/Independent outfit FRUSTRATION! During the 1990s, wherever you lived in France, you could see certain groups between 5 and 10 times a year – sometimes even without really wanting to. Guys who played so much, all the time, everywhere, that it was impossible to spend more than three months without being at one of their concerts. Right down to the depths of the Var or Jura, they pushed tons of kids to start their own band or fanzine, to access something different. It was more than just music. It was a spirit, an idea. A way of looking at the world. Rules are no longer the same. Music no longer has the same weight, the bands we come across between 5 and 10 times a year – sometimes even without really wanting to – are rarely the right ones, and the kids from the far reaches of the Var or the Jura have something else to do than formig bands or fanzines. But the spirit and the idea are still there. And in the last 10 years, in France, no group has played them better than Frustration. Like all these groups, Frustration we have seen them 5, 10, 100 times – sometimes without really wanting to. And because we’re not quite the same either – more informed, more busy, more jaded, less easily impressionable – we always said to ourselves that we’ve gone around it, that their whole comedy is getting old. But with each new concert, each new record, we go back to the roots. Because the fire is still burning, because the passion is still intact, because they are not trying to pass for what they are not. Because somewhere in the heart of the Var or Jura, some kids still need to see the world differently. However, we were not expecting a record like So Cold Streams. At this stage of the championship, Frustration could have been satisfied with releasing a record that was essentially identical to the previous one, intense, abrasive, honest but without risk, and could have continued to fill the rooms without anyone having to complain about it by slowly moving towards an exit as dignified as it was inevitable. But from the first bars of „Insane”, an insane electro-punk pounding that you’d think you’d just come out of a 1988 EBM EP, you realize that the scenario isn’t going to go as planned. Instead of setting up a comfortable routine, Frustration recorded his fifth album as if it were the first, like a band formed 6 months ago that would have nothing to lose and a serious desire to fight it. If the post-punk cavalry is still present (martial drums, elastic bass, hit-and-run guitars), So Cold Streams surprises with its energy, the virulence of certain lyrics and the many risk-taking, „Brume”, a nightmare with industrial sounds screamed in French, to the very pop „Lil’ White Sister” which looks surprisingly at the Smiths and Echo & The Bunnymen, as well as the sinuous and melancholic „Slave Markets” on which the band invited Jason Williamson, the singer of Sleaford Mods – a band that played a lot in Frustration’s new youth. „Sleaford Mods is a band that, musically and humanly, gave us a real boost,” explains Fabrice Gilbert (vocals). It gave us a real sense of freedom, it allowed me to really say everything I wanted to say in my words, to talk about extremely intimate subjects as well as much more general things, whether it be political or social. So Cold Streams is, paradoxically perhaps, our most disillusioned, energetic and free record. This observation is perfectly summarized by the cover of the disc, signed like all the others by the painter Baldo, and which represents a machine tarring a road through a field of wheat. A painting made more than 15 years ago and which was originally intended to be the cover of Full Of Sorrow, Frustration’s first album. For such a renaissance, the best choice could not be better. Especially since the image alone contains the whole disc: space, strength, light, rage and disgust too. The desire to destroy everything. To make a clean slate. To propose something different. A little more than music. A spirit, an idea. A way of looking at the world.