La Cacahouette
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La Cacahouette

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"La Cacahouette – Hard to Pronounce, Easy to Love"

Jun 29th 2007, 4:30am By Olga Grinberg

Cobbelstone Liquor
Those of us who yearn for the golden age of shoegaze and dreampop (it can't just be me, right?) are in for a treat this Saturday night. Buffalo's own La Cacahouette offer up a dazzling blend of psychedelia, dreamy vocals and swirling guitars that just make you think it's 1990 all over again. The band first caught my attention at last year's Music Is Art, and it was love at first note. In a scene that has become over saturated by metal and pop-punk rejects, La Cacahoutte is a welcome breath of fresh air. Influenced by 60s psychedelia, shoegaze and prog, the band's distinct sound ranges from sleepy-eyed dream pop to grandiose wall-of-noise epics - both extremes often found in the same song. Fans of My Bloody Valentine, Ride and Cocteau Twins take note – this just may become your new favorite band.

Led by a husband and wife team of Pepper Ochsner Thomas and Gerald Thomas and rounded out by Blake Ellman on drums, the trio formed in 2003 and has since developed a devoted fan base in the Queen City and beyond. Since their inception, La Cacahouette has opened for such diverse national acts as Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Tristeza, Lisa Loeb, I Am the World Trade Center, and Silversun Pickups.

This Saturday is your chance to celebrate the release of the band's first CD, “French For Peanut" on All Things Ordinary Records. The night of great music will be completed by Love Parade, who play lovely psych-tinged indie pop with fuzzed out guitars that makes for a perfect Summer soundtrack. Local indie scene veterans Global Village Idiots, and Toronto's DD/MM/YYYY round out the evening's line up.
- Buffalo Rising

"LA CACAHOUETTE: Cocaine Unicorn b/w Help Is Automatic: 7”"

Cocaine Unicorn b/w Help Is Automatic: 7”
“It’s not a unicorn; it’s a horse, with a sword in its head.” I make that reference on account that this is a decent bit of indie rock, that I could easily see being used on some prime time hit if they were just a tad more “mainstream” (read as “hipster”). -

"La Cacahouette"

I am so glad there are bands out there keeping the shoegaze genre alive. Something about fuzzy guitars and female vocals just makes me happy. If you miss your Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine and Ride then check out Buffalo, NY's La Cacahouette. They recently released their first full-length CD, French For Peanut on All Things Ordinary Records. Blending beautiful swirling guitars and atmospheric vocals La Cacahouette offer up a great first release. Check out 2 tracks from the album below and check out that album cover; does'nt get much cooler than that. -

"French for Peanut: La Cacahouette"

The CD "French for Peanut," by Buffalo, N.Y., trio La Cacahouette, would likely be described by many music commentators, at least in part, as “progressive.”

But what is progressive? Often it refers to virtuosic playing and long, labyrinthe compositions with grand themes.

All of which is mostly true with La Cacahouette. But how they’re really progressive is the way they can make their music so varied without having it lose its way. "French for Peanut" has so many elements, layers and feelings to parse, you pick up on something new every time you listen to it. It’s music you can get emotionally vested in and not feel cheated afterwards.

Powerful production values help too. Blake “Spoonman” Ellman fuels every song with cavernous drumming, particularly his four-armed performance on “Fiction Teeth.” Tracks like “No Time to Rock” convey an uncanny depth, this one combining a simple, stately piano line with riffing guitar, blanketing synths and Ellman’s visceral thunder for a propulsion that belies its title. “Brain Chips” can best be described as a series of tempered explosions, complete with ethereal forces and watery textures. The flight-fingered rave-up in the middle of “You Done Me Wrong, Willie” offers the best of Mars Volta and Explosions in the Sky.

In a world of pre-packaged music and cautious, market-tested product, "French for Peanut" stands out. It’s altogether too sonically heavy for the average person, which means it’ll probably be an overlooked gem that inspires some of the future’s creative geniuses and eventually earns its rightful title as a cult classic. Rather than wait for that to happen, listen to it now and remember why you gave a damn about music in the first place. -

"Zombies, Peanuts and Lots of Blues"

They have a name that must be phonetically spelled out for Anglophone ears, a drummer who sometimes plays as if he has three arms, a theremin and a CD doused in cavernous reverb. They play a kind of art-metal/post-hardcore informed prog-pop. La Cacahouette is probably just a few steps away from being remarkably pretentious, but those few steps include the kind of musicianship and compositional sense to make their ambitions work.

The Buffalo, N.Y., trio’s full-length album, French for Peanut (All Things Ordinary Records), cycles through eight songs in 48 minutes, but it doesn’t feel so lengthy. In proggy fashion, the band moves from passage to passage, but each passage melodically suggests where the next should go, which renders the songs seamless and ultimately rewarding.

It’s common for a band to claim far-ranging influences and write elaborate songs, yet end up with something that falls flat into the sonic doldrums. La Cacahouette aren’t like that. The disc is shoegaze, psych-rock, prog, metal, indie. It’s all of those things at once, and it captivates the listener at each subtle turn. Somehow the band avoids the pitfalls of over-ambitious genre-merchants, forging a consistent sonic identity that sounds quite natural.

Led by the husband-and-wife team of Gerald and Pepper Ochsner Thomas (who between them handle vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass and the aforementioned theremin) and complemented by thunderous drummer Blake Ellman, La Cacahouette sounds bigger than a trio, but the members play tastefully, not like show-offs. They value texture and melodic invention over demonstrations of technical virtuosity.

Even when the band launches into space, the Thomases’ subdued vocals make the whole thing sound intimate and relatable. The album would sound right on the stereo in your bedroom, in a large theater or in a small rock club. You have a chance this week to hear for yourself—they’ll be at Daniel Street on Wednesday with psych/art-rockers Mammoth Hunter, angular post-punkers Eula and the experimental Marrone/McGovern Duo.
—Brian LaRue -- July 03, 2008 - New Haven Advocate

"La La Land"

Other than chicken wings, virtually nothing good ever came out of Buffalo. Maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement, but if you ever needed an example of capitalism gone awry, look no further than the crumbling burg on the shores of Lake Erie. However, artistic beauty often arises from ashes. Such is the case with psychedelic indie outfit La Cacahouette, who exist somewhere in the space between shoegaze legends My Bloody Valentine and metal progenitors Black Sabbath. This Saturday, the heady trio swings into 242 Main with Rutland rockers Drag and Forefathers. - Seven Days (Vermont's Independent Voice)

"The Next Best Thing to Acid"

Stepping out of the cold and into Allen Hall Wednesday night, concertgoers found themselves in an hour and a half long psychedelic mind trip that only a '60s inspired band could deliver.

As fans and curious students took their seats in the sound stage, Anita West of WBFO, their host for the evening's radio broadcast, greeted them. After a short sound check and explanation of "the rules" to being on live radio, La Cacahouette took to the stage.

Heads began to nod and sway as song after song of the impressive shoegazing movement flowed from the band's fingertips.

After playing a few tracks, the band stopped and did a mini interview with West. During the exchange, La Cacahouette opened up to the crowd about themselves.

Interesting facts were divulged, such as the marriage between guitarist Gerald Thomas and singer Pepper Thomas.

Not tied down to any music label, La Cacahouette chooses to follow the beat of their own drum by setting up their own booking and recording, as well as designing all their merchandise.

Pepper Thomas told West that the band's name was chosen because it was her favorite word in the French language, while newcomer to the band, Jay Sallese, admitted that before tonight he didn't have any idea where the name came from.

The questionnaire wrapped up and La Cacahouette resumed play, though this time the band had thrown in two new instruments.

Sallese took up the trumpet and front woman Pepper Thomas took up the lesser-known theremin.

For those who are reading this and are wondering what exactly a theremin is, here it is in a nutshell: a 5-foot radio antenna-like device that produces the sounds used in '50s sci-fi film fare as you move your hand towards or away from it.

Mixing guitars, bass, keyboards, drums, trumpets and the theremin, the band continued to pump out psychedelic mind-melting tunes.

"I thought it was very diverse and interesting. Definitely different," said Jessica Kilbury, a junior undecided major.

In between each song, the band paused, giving West a chance to say whatever was on her mind. More often than not, this turned into her shouting the band's name in order to prompt the crowd to cheer. As the show progressed, so did the enthusiasm of the applause.

Though the vast majority of the audience seemed to enjoy the band's music, there were a few who weren't blown away.

"Every song they played was reminiscent of something else, so when you were listening you were thinking 'where have I heard this before' instead of 'this is great,'" said Matthew Silverstein, a sophomore anthropology major.

Silverstein's assessment of the band's sound is a fair one. La Cacahouette's music is inspired by several different genres. Take Frank Zappa and Death Cab For Cutie, top them off with some Pixies, mix in a blender and the end result is La Cacahouette.

Although each member of the band put on an impressive showcase utilizing multiple instruments, it was drummer Blake Ellman who, in the end, stole the show. Ellman provided solid beats and mind-numbing cymbal crashes throughout the band's set, but it wasn't until the last song that he really stood out.

Closing with an impressive drum solo, the band exited the stage to an uproar of applause that didn't die out until after they had completely left the stage.

The band currently only has one album out, French For Peanut, but they are hard at work on their second. They hope to have it out before next fall.

With their mind-melting rifts and UFO-influenced sounds, La Cacahouette is definitely a band worth giving a try. Not to mention they're cheaper and healthier than most hallucinogens. - The Spectrum - Univeristy of Buffalo


* French For Peanut - Eight Song Full Length, All Things Ordinary.
Release Dates: (CD) June 30, 2007 (LP) August 20, 2008.
* Cocaine Unicorn/Help Is Automatic - 7" Vinyl, All Things Ordinary, 2006.
* La Cacahouette Tour EP, 6-song EP, 2006.
* It’s Magic!: La Cacahouette’s self-released 7-song EP, 2004.
* Un-BIAS v. 1: Local Buffalo Music Compilation, 2004.
* A Means to an End v. 1 & 3: Local Buffalo Music Compilation, 2004, 2008.


Can be found playing on:

*WBNY 91.3, Buffalo's Only Alternative.



"Imperferation" featured in a Lindstrom/Hicks Independent film titled "Waiting On Alphie." Film released Fall of 2005.

"Emergency Waffle Party" and "War and Zevon" featured in a Red Dander Philms short film titled "Herman," created for the 24-Hour Film Festival, Buffalo, NY, 2009.


Music, Videos, and other fun facts can be found at: (Video clip of La Cacahouette Live on WBFO.)



“A name that must be phonetically spelled out for Anglophone ears, a drummer who sometimes plays as if he has three arms, a theremin and a CD doused in cavernous reverb. They play a kind of art-metal/post-hardcore informed prog-pop. La Cacahouette is probably just a few steps away from being remarkably pretentious, but those few steps include the kind of musicianship and compositional sense to make their ambitions work.” - New Haven Advocate

"French for Peanut has so many elements, layers and feelings to parse, you pick up on something new every time you listen to it. It’s music you can get emotionally vested in and not feel cheated afterwards.” -

“La Cacahouette elegantly display why they are one of the leading lights of the Queen City’s underground music scene. The trio has taken the right cues from shoegazing stalwarts like My Bloody Valentine and Lush and ably managed a deft balancing act of ethereal melodies and distorted but beautiful noise.” – Art Voice Weekly

“La Cacahouette's experimental shoegaze ways on their recently released debut full length, French For Peanut, are enchanting enough to distract anyone.” –


Out of the industrial decay of Buffalo, NY, La Cacahouette (La-Ca-Coo-Et) was formed in 2004 by husband and wife Gerald Thomas (Guitar, Vocals, Keys) and Pepper Ochsner Thomas (Bass, Vocals, Keys, Theremin.) The addition of Blake Ellman (drums and percussion) early 2005, led the band to take on a harder edge, and to become a national touring act. Late 2008 witnessed La Cacahouette welcoming a fourth member, Jason Sallese (guitar, trumpet, vocals,) solidifying the band’s current lineup.

Combining the band’s influences of psychedelic, progressive, metal, shoegaze, and indie rock, La Cacahouette has created a sound that is distinct yet draws on the familiar. If one has ever tried to imagine My Bloody Valentine covering a Black Sabbath song, La Cacahouette has surely provided an answer. But, do not be mistaken; La Cacahouette embraces many extremes and styles, ranging from melancholic dreamlike soundscapes to hard driving upbeat rock.

La Cacahouette has built a following both locally and nationally, having embarked on multiple self-booked tours throughout the U.S. Their first full length album was initially released on Buffalo, NY’s All Things Ordinary on CD format June 2007, and then on vinyl LP July 2008. La Cacahouette is currently in the studio finishing recording a new album, and is in search of label support.

La Cacahouette has opened for: Silversun Pickups, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Pelican, Ra Ra Riot, The Virgins, Portugal The Man, Sea Wolf, Russian Circles, Baronness, An Albatross, Lisa Loeb, AIDSwolf, Film School, and Tristeza.

* To check out live video footage of La Cacahouette performing "Emergency Waffle Party" (for WBFO NPR) copy and paste the following link!