Les Loups Blancs
Je sais que tu mens b/w Sylvianne - 7"
Sonore - 1968
Les Loups Blancs were so far behind the times that they almost seem like trailblazers. The Montreal band used to deck themselves out in matching Beatles suits and bleached-blond coiffures (hence the "Blancs" part, I guess), even as hipper sorts were sporting bell-bottoms, Nehru jackets and love beads. But the lads - they were all between 18 and 21 when they formed - had a knack for smart, catchy franco/beat songs at a time when the bulk of Quebec francophones were content to pawn off middling translations of anglo hits. Though hardly chart toppers, they did play some live shows at the Bo-Cave club on Montreal's south shore, and appeared on the telly on Tele-Metropole's popular Jeunesse d'aujourd'hui.
In their brief existence, Les Loups Blancs - the 1968 line-up was singer/guitarist Paul Daraiche, bass player Jacques Tremblay, pianist Mario Chevrette and drummer Bernard St. Onge - issued just two singles on the province's respectable Sonore imprint, the Beatlesque 'Ce rire dans tes yeux' in 1967, and this fetching double-sider the following year. 'Sylvianne' is competent enough, with melancholic vocals and some fine Merseybeat guitar, but the real gem is the hook-laced a-side, 'Je sais que tu mens', which seems to channel those lithe guitar licks and lush harmonies that gave the Hollies so much success at the time.
(Vinyl junkies of the francophone bent already know that Quebecois forty-fives from that era are notoriously tough to find in any sort of playable condition, but this one seems to have dropped right off the radar. Not to worry, though, as 'Je sais que tu mens' did show up in the digital world on the fine Aussie comp World Beaters Vol. 6 - Reverberations from the Global Garage (Krazy World) back in 2006, as well as on the earlier US LP Rumble: Quebec Garage Beat 66-67 on Dog Wild.)
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