Everybody who took a crack at reviewing the third full-length release from Montréal’s Les Georges Leningrad has demonstrated conceptual consideration for what they take to be the vision of the transmigratory trio’s most nebulous of recordings. Muses Pitchfork of the album (the title of which roughly translates from Italian as ‘pedigree’), “Sangue Puro is at once intriguing and frustrating because it never breaks through the top, or bottoms out on the evolutionary range…the music is perpetually stuck in one knuckle-dragging, slime-trailing state.” A comparably contemplative critique appears on the Drowned in Sound site, and notes, “As this third album draws to a close so does the brain capacity of the band by the sounds of it. On final track ‘The Future For Less’, Les Georges have hit the big red meltdown button and are floating in soundscape space.” Looking like buggy-eyed boho explorers and screaming like space-travelling banshees, Poney P, Mingo L’Indien and Bobo Boutin challenge the intellectual architecture of indie art-rock on Sangue Puro. And according to a lot of these reviews, that was exactly what we expected them to do.
Most reviews also cautioned readers and listeners that Sangue Puro ventures farther into the ‘unforeseeable universe of the Petrochemical Rock’ than their followers might expect. I think, however, that a lot of reviewers too easily take the Les Georges Leningrad bait and imagine Sangue Puro as at best unfolding in some yet-unnamed, ethereal cosmos. Too few, however, made mention of the mockingly earthly (think desecrated World Music compilations from 1995) or perverse tribalistic religiosity of tracks like “Eli, Eli, Lamma Sabacthani” or “Mammal Beats”, preferring instead to allow the band even more creative distance on Sangue Puro than ever before. I might revisit Sangue Puro from time to time, especially for “Skulls in the Closet” and “Sleek Answer”, but overall the album lacks the allure of forbidden territory that could have made reviewers warn, “Don’t go there.” The band did, however, inspire a lot of interest in the drawing of a bat on the cover of the album.