Puts Marie Le Cabaret de la Dernière Chance, Rouyn-Noranda QC, September 3

Puts Marie Le Cabaret de la Dernière Chance, Rouyn-Noranda QC, September 3
Photo: Kevin Jones
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Switzerland's Puts Marie rely on a system of duelling energies. From one song to the next, their small but widespread catalogue can switch from lonely desert blues to heavy, jazz-inspired rap-rock. But at their midnight set at le Cabaret de la Dernière Chance, they demonstrated that any perceived stylistic disparities in their work rely on sequencing and juxtaposition.
 
With frontman Max Usata at times resigning himself to a small snare, floor tom and ride kit, and prowling the stage to trade off between a traditional microphone and a bullet mic at others, the band structured their FME showcase so more introspective songs like "The Bath House" came at the height of their set, gradually building from one stylistic extreme to another.
 
It wasn't entirely seamless — guitarist Sirup Gagavil's vintage tube amp started acting up early on, an inconvenience that could have brought serious sabotage to the songs requiring more sonic brawn — but after working through some of the band's quieter songs, a replacement was found in time for them to give the Little Mack and Sun Ra rhythm and blues joint "Tell Her To Come On Home" a sultry, dusky treatment. They were then able to enter heavier territory and climax with grunge piece "Sugar Run," Masoch single "Pornstar," and a new, set-closing rap-rock song Usata called "It's in the House, It Is In My Motherfucking Mouth." Sometimes heavy-hitting, sometimes woozy and disorienting, it was also the only song in the set with a verse from full-time drummer Nick Porsche.