Pastobal is a French Valdoisien group, who performs Folk and Rock songs, but is tuned to many differing styles. The group was formed in 2012 and is in continued evolution. Pastobal has just recently released “EP#2” a 4-track recording, containing 2 English language and 2 French language song versions. It is basically two original songs, “Les Emmerdeurs” and “I Met a Man” and their remixed versions. This is a different type of music that your radio-trained ears may be less used to but you’ll quickly become close to it! I don’t’ know much about Pastobal and their backgrounds but they certainly make emotional music. The original song versions are strongly acoustically driven, while the remixes throw in electro elements, to twist and tweak the flavor.
Musically, this is one of the most visceral EP’s I have in my collection. In keeping with the sonic themes, it rages, pleads, batters, and soothes; all which goes by too quickly. For those of you who like nu-prog-folk (progressive folk-rock with modern influences like alternative rock and electronica) Pastobal is a highly recommended band, and this EP is a very good representation of what they are capable of. It’s hard to stress what a breath of fresh air this kind of sound is in today’s music world. Real melodies, real thought, real live instruments, really good!
By bridging the gap between old-school acoustic music and modern-day electro remixes, as well as throwing in some melodic alternative rock for good measure, Pastobal have created a totally unique sound. There are some stunning and intense moments on “EP#2”.
There are so many details, nuances and little secrets hidden on this recording, but I feel rather guilty, not being able to speak French and failing to mention them in this review; then again, I don’t think it’s possible to cover all of Pastobal depths in a single 2-song review. This really is one of those groups you need give time to – study their lyrics, pay attention to their clever songwriting and arrangements as well as their magnificently energetic musicianship.
In an era of the music entertainment business where you find more ‘superficial’ bands in the top ten, it is fair to say there is still a ‘commercial barrier’ of sorts when it comes to bands like Pastobal. They certainly deserve every ounce of recognition for being survivors at a time most bands who fail to appeal to the ‘trendy’ mainstream and media, disappear overnight. What we have with Pastobal is a creative philosophy that hasn’t been seen in the folk-rock scene since the late 60’s.