Not Easy To Cook


Cannibale return to Born Bad Records with Not Easy To Cook, their second album. If Cannibale's members brought their breakfast back up when talking about Not Easy To Cook, their listeners would be surprised. These fortysomethings signed by Born Bad Records, the image of greaser-looking garage rockers would come to mind, but with bits of exotica stuck between the teeth, Nino Nardini and Roger Roger's Jungle Obsession (1971) on the turntable, and plastic-bottled tropical glam puked by some incarnation of Wayne's World's (1992) Mike Myers. Why mention all this? Because there's a world of difference between the beginning of Cannibale's success story and this, their second album. It wouldn't take much to feel as if Freddie Mercury showed up in a Renault 16 to play marimba for old oafish rock fans. And actually, that's about it: The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) meets Fela Kuti in rain boots. Between No Mercy For Love (BORNBAD 094CD/LP, 2017) and Not Easy To Cook, the group did not switch from psyche cumbia to coarse-grained autotune, but rather roamed roads like doped cyclists, playing more than 100 dates in less than a year, and a eulogistic press review; Johnny Hallyday himself did not get such media coverage! So what's Cannibale's secret? Being old and giving 19-year-old kids who just discovered marimba tutorials on YouTube a thrashing? Certainly, but it's a little more than a band of old fogeys. "The band learned it all on the road in less than two years," says Born Bad's Jean-Baptiste Guillot. Songwriting-wise, they've known how to do for a long time. The members, survivors of various projects, succeeded because nothing else than music mattered anymore. In that, the band's deviant trajectory is not so different from Vox Low's. But the most surprising thing about "Not Easy To Cook is the sultriness that emerges. It's hard to sum it up other than by comparing these ten songs with some pressure cooker in which bits of dancehall, London ska and Hawaiian dub would have cooked together. The small miracle achieved by this album, recorded by the band in its remote French village: sounding French, but Polynesian French. With Not Easy To Cook, frogs, birds, and sounds from the jungle can be heard in a living room. Those already traumatized by Arthur Lyman's vibraphone and Les Baxter's lounge music should feel at home.