Nous Non Plus
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Nous Non Plus


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"Nous Non Plus - self titled (2005)"

November, 2005
An outstanding album by this spinoff of New York's faux-French frogpop band, Les Sans Culottes. Unlike the various Sans Culottes albums, this disc seems like less of a one-note joke, displaying instead greater musical depth and variety, ranging from breathy, Francoise Hardy-esque ballads to nervy '77-style punk, jittery technobleepery ala StereoTotal, steamy Roxy Music-ish synthpop and New Wave, dreamy modern indie stuff... all done with great aplomb. The French-language lyrics remain blithe, silly and self-mocking, but the musical chameleon act is quite impressive. This is a darn good record; definitely worth checking out!

January, 2006
Really great upbeat escapist dance pop. ...Nous Non Plus was formed from fragments of Les Sans Culottes. As such, they are continuing with the same basic mission...writing and recording what sounds like French pop...but really isn't. This band seems more groove oriented than Les Sans Culottes. The rhythms are more dance friendly and direct. Simultaneously hilarious and catchy, the tunes on this debut album are incredibly effective...each sticking with the listener like mental super glue. The band consists of Celine Dijon, Jean-Luc Retard, Bonnie Day, Cal d'Hommage, Professeur Harry Covert, Morris "Mars" Chevrolet, and Francois Hardonne. Far from being a mere joke band, the folks in ...Nous Non Plus are providing high quality music that is unique and hypnotic. Ultra creative tracks include "L'Amant," "Lawnmower Boy," "Monokini," and "La Ballade de Tourette." Highly recommended. (Rating: 5+++)

From Miami New Times
Dec 1, 2005
Bi-continental septet Nous Non Plus scares up sumptuous, blasé cool on its self-titled debut, whipping elements borrowed from the Strokes, Stereolab, and the B-52s into delectable French pastries. And so we get delights like "Lawnmower Boy," where the band makes like Guitar Wolf on a New Wave kick; the disco hip-shake quake of "Tant Pis Pour Toi," as mirrorball-infectious as anything in Franz Ferdinand's arsenal; and "Monikini," a swank, horn-chart fiesta whose chorus consists of unisex baaaaaas. But the luxurious bubblebath lullaby "Premier Balser" makes for the record's tastiest dish: harplike guitar blush, fluffy trumpets, and Mellotron-like keyboards swishing languidly about as lead vocalists Celine Dijon and Jean-Luch Retard stage-whisper sweet nothings back and forth to one another through the scented steam.

December 12, 2005
Nous Non Plus is one undeniable pop gem after another, from "Tant Pis Pour Toi" continental disco to "L'Amant"'s folksy strum and rich strings, to "Fille Atomique"'s sunny, garage-friendly pop, to "Premier Basier"'s sophisticated, jazzy groove. These filles et garcons get their points across regardless of your French-language skills. If there's anyone who can resist "Lawnmower Boy"'s pure, unadulterated bliss, you don't want to have anything to do with him. He's probably a Bill O'Reilly fan. - several samples...

"Vive Le Rock!"

Jan 20, 2006

Nous Non Plus are (mostly) American rock & roll kids pretending to be French, which is way better than the reverse

Nous Non Plus, El Cid, Friday Jan. 20, Tangier, Sun Jan. 29

Last summer, the members of New York City’s Nous Non Plus were still a kitschy fake French band called Les Sans Culottes (in honor of the pants-challenged revolutionaries who overthrew the Bastille), and they’d just axed their leader. Unfortunately, he was also a lawyer, and took them to court over the use of the band name. After thundering the best line in recent judicial history — “You’re going to have a bad hair day in this courtroom!” (we’re not making this up) — the judge found for the plaintiff. And so, armed with nothing but the pants covering their asses, the songs in their hearts and perfect hair, merci beaucoup, bandmates Celine Dijon, Jean-Luc Retard and their cohorts had to start anew.

They took Serge Gainsbourg’s famed sex-you-up duet, “Je T’Aime (Moi Non Plus),” as the inspiration for their new name. Translated literally, Nous Non Plus means “neither do we.” As in: “Gee, I don’t get what happened with Les Sans Culottes.” “Yeah, neither do we.”

What seems to have happened, though, is that a fake French pop band became a (more) real, attorney-free rock band — which is much better, anyway. Nous Non Plus have been, how you say, liberated, and their exuberant new self-titled album, written and recorded and released within a matter of months, is currently in CMJ’s Top 10 with heavies like Wilco and My Morning Jacket.

“It kind of gave us a new lease on life, to be able to change our lineup and our sound a bit,” says vocalist Verena Weisendanger (a.k.a. Celine Dijon).

“My goal was to create something original that has echoes of influences but isn’t obviously derivative,” adds singer/bassist/producer Dan Crane (a.k.a. Jean-Luc Retard). “We’re not a cabaret act.”

“Lawnmower Boy” hitches a glam piano to a Ramones guitar riff, while “Tant Pis Pour Toi” is a new wave kiss-off to that lawyer dude. Both “Premier Baiser” and “Le Chateau” — an homage to Hollywood’s own Chateau Marmont — are dreamy ditties with twee synth flourishes à la Air. And naturally, a favorite subject is Paris... Hilton. The Euro-disco number “One Night in Paris” has already been remixed to accommodate the heiress’ newest boyfriend, Stavros Niarchos. “Obviously, I track her every move,” says Crane, “so when she starts dating somebody new, I’ll just modify the song and post it on the Web site.”

Sadly, Crane’s dedication to the mother tongue doesn’t run so deep. Despite her Germanic name, Weisendanger is, in fact, the only actual French member of Nous Non Plus, and she still has to write the lyrics down phonetically so Crane doesn’t mangle the pronunciation. “It may as well be Japanese,” he laughs. “Or Farsi.”

- LA Weekly

"Plus ça change"

Mar 2, 2006

There’s something funny, and perhaps a bit sad, about an artist stage-named Jean-Luc Retard stating, “I want to be taken seriously.” Funnier and sadder still, though, is the legal ordeal that bassist Retard (Dan Crane to his mom) and his bandmates in what’s now …Nous Non Plus went through after the less-than-amicable breakup of the band’s previous incarnation, les Sans Culottes. Check out Crane’s recounting of the sordid affair at, Oct. 24, 2005, for all the gory details.

Frontman Clermont Ferrand, a lawyer by day, held on to the original name and intention—a snarky, faux-French celebration of ’60s Gallic pop—but the last laugh goes to Monsieur Retard, singer Verena “Celine Dijon” Weisendanger (the only authentic Française in the equation) and the rest of Ferrand’s mutinous crew, who headline a night at the Under the Snow mini-fest.

“Basically,” says la Dijonnaise, “the musicians are the same, so the songwriters are the same. Only one person is missing, and he was—I don’t know how much we want to talk about this, but he was kind of a negative force in the band, and didn’t allow us to be as expansive as we wanted to be. Jean-Luc can tell you that he was forbidden by Clermont Ferrand to sing more than one song per set. There were these weird, stupid little rules.”

The reincarnation process allowed them a few digs—the band name for one, taken from Serge Gainsbourg’s “Je t’aime… moi non plus,” and the spiteful if catchy number “Tant pis pour toi” on NNP’s self-titled debut disc. It also gave them a chance to expand their musical scope, drawing in glammy punk, sleazy disco (the heiress-baiting “One Night in Paris”), neo-synthpop, Côte d’Azur kitsch and even some really pretty chansons, no gag or punchline attached.

“That was a very deliberate shift on our part,” say le Retardé. “I’m a fairly serious musician, and it was always a struggle for me that people perceived les Sans Culottes as a novelty band. I didn’t want to be in a novelty band, and that’s part of the reason why I had issues with Clermont Ferrand. I want to have the element of humour, and for people to have fun, but I also want to be able to express some interesting ideas musically and lyrically, and be taken seriously, even if part of what we’re doing is intentionally comical.”

You’d think those straightforward French songs might be a harder sell to the largely unilingually-anglophone audience in the States, mais pas du tout.

“The songs that are most popular right now are French ones,” says Dijon. “I mean, ‘One Night in Paris’ is a total favourite, for many reasons, but ‘Lawnmower Boy’ is in French, and that’s one of the favourites of kids everywhere on the myspace, and people reviewing us. Also ‘Fille Atomique’—both are French, so that hasn’t been a barrier.”

“We’re fortunate to be part of a change in musical perception that’s going on,” adds Retard. “I don’t think we would have been number six on the U.S. college charts for two weeks, and in the top 10 for four, if it was that hard of a sell. My take on it is that people want to hear something that’s unique and new, and doesn’t sound like another Strokes or Libertines, something that establishes its own world—whether that world is in French or English.” - Montreal Mirror


Ménagerie (2009, Aeronaut Records)

Nous Non Plus (self-titled), Released Nov 29, 2005 - Aeronaut Records
CMJ Radio 200 Chart: in Top 10 for 4 weeks, peaked at 6 (2 weeks). CMJ AAA debuted at #27.



"Surrender, Surrender, but don't give yourself away..."
--M. Robespierre

Formed amidst mutiny, Nous Non Plus are a superb splinter group of the faux French band Les Sans Culottes. Whereas Les Sans Culottes means "Those without underpants," by way of retort Nous Non Plus means "Neither do we" as well as, literally, "Us No More."

Thus the spirit of the Culottes lives on, and as describes, Nous Non Plus display "musical depth and variety, ranging from breathy, Francoise Hardy-esque ballads to nervy '77-style punk, jittery technobleepery ala StereoTotal, steamy Roxy Music-ish synthpop and New Wave, dreamy modern indie stuff..."