Peace de Résistance Bits and Pieces

26th May 2023

12 Inch



Peace de Résistance is the solo project of Moses Brown (Institute / Glue). It was originally self-released in 2022 and La Vida Es Un Mus Discos’ European press was due to follow shortly afterwards – a year later, after the pressing journey from hell, here we are!

And what an intriguing treat it is.  This is a record that in many ways defies easy description.  The base sound derives from Brown’s love of Zamrock (a 1970s fusion of traditional Zambian polyrhythms with more contemporary heavy rock instrumentation), which he has reintegrated with 1970s glam rock and refracted through his own DIY punk sensibility.  The result is a record that is as swaggering as it is lo-fi, that feels sparse yet in fact brims with lush, detailed instrumentation.  The vocals are a drawled croak, that delve forensically into the warped priorities of the US state – from the relentless militarisation of the police, to the financial dispossession of the working-class, to the inequities of the healthcare system.  A record that is very much worth exploring.

(And, if like me, you are new to Zamrock, I recommend Episode 88 of the ‘Garbage in My Heart’ podcast as a good place to start!).

—Foundation Vinyl

Moses Brown of Texas punk bands Institute and Glue released his first cassette under the name Peace de Résistance – a solo project where he plays all the instruments – in October 2020. That cassette found Brown bouncing his growing songwriting chops off the fuzz-drenched Zamrock sound of Paul Ngozi, Witch, and Amanaz. However, Bits and Pieces – Peace de Résistance’s first full-length and first vinyl release – has a wider vista. Brown describes the sound as “demented glam rock,” and while you can hear remnants of the Zamrock influence in the sinuously melodic fuzz guitar, the more pertinent frames of reference are Diamond Dogs -era Bowie, 70s Lou Reed, and Iggy’s The Idiot and Lust for Life. Bits and Pieces recalls those records’ potent combination of artistic ambition, street-level rock and roll swagger, and pop charm, but filtered through the DIY punk aesthetics of Brown’s previous work. Lyrically, the album documents life on the fringes in a hyper-surveilled 2020s America, with songs like “Don’t 1099 Me,” “We Got the Right to Be Healthy,” and “Exploitation” wrenching plainspoken poetry from an existence that will be all too familiar to anyone at odds with capitalism. After nine timeless art-rock songs, Bits and Pieces lets us down gently with “Sitting in Disguise.” This motorik-inspired instrumental offers a rickety, dilapidated update of Neu!’s seamless futurism, implying that the only appropriate response to our predicament is to keep moving forward.

—Daniel Lupton