Van Coke Kartel

2007-12-05 17:45
Uh-huh. Anyone who’s ever chanted along to "Hemel Op Die Platteland" and "Brand Suid Afrika" is going to groove on the 'back to basics' rock vibe gluing trashy mosh pit party starters like "Elke Oomblik Tel" together. But let’s bin those Fokof comparisons right there. Unlike Polisiekar lyricist Hunter Kennedy, Francois Van Coke just can’t find any poetry in looking for salvation from the living hell of a middle-class Afrikaans suburban existence.

He tries. Amphetamine rockers "Duiwelspiek", "Genoeg Is Nie Genoeg Nie", "Algehele Kontrole" and "Hier is Ons" desperately seek something to believe in – a hero, a hangover, a hard-on - before shrugging at the pointlessness of it all. Is it worth reading these sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll diaries as autobiographical evidence of a singer struggling to expunge the Afrikaner protest rock hype that Fokofpolisiekar fed off for the past four years?
Maybe not. Maybe it's better to just tune into the good old-fashioned power trio glee that drives classic rock shout outs like "September Fools". And realise these guys have clearly had Taxi Violence and QOTSA burning up their iPods. Maybe. But such an unrepentantly old school garage rock brew isn’t enough to keep your attention. It’s the lyrics you keep coming back to. "Het die hekse jou vertel?/As ‘n Boer beteken ek maar min" preaches Van Coke on bitter power ballad hangover "Kettery". "Kan hierdie ligaam dit nog hou?" he asks on arena rock singalong "My Vriende Sukkel Ook".

Okay, so if the drugs don't work, then what the hell’s the antidote to self-pity pot shots like "Ek is dalk nie ‘n sent werd nie/maar ek voel soos R300" ("Buitenkant II")? Simple: there isn’t one. "Tot die Einde Kom" cautions as much, with Van Coke espousing his refusal to let the Holy Grail of rock 'n roll rebellion go with a sardonic howl: "Dis nodig om dit af te lag/Oorvol, die onderwereld is versadig/My vriende ek het jul lief/Sal bly hardloop en soms vatplek soek".

- Miles Keylock

"Ek moes verloor toe middelmatigheid nog genoeg was" mutters Van Coke Kartel lead singer Francois during a particularly gritty garage rock stomp with the sarcastic billing of "Verdoof. Vergiftig. Verskoon My." (Sedated. Poisoned. Excuse Me). Right, so the Fokfopolisiekar front man is still selling the anti-establishment Afrikaner blues then?

What to read next: Kalahari

Marius 2007/12/07 6:54 AM
Hectic Jissie. Sounds hectic.
Samsung 2007/12/07 7:33 AM
Haal asem I love it! It's everything they promised it would be - unpretentious, no fancy productions, just raw rock 'n roll. Love track 11 - Verdoof. vergiftig. Verskoon My. Francois played an acoustic version of this when he was doing his acoustic tour with Laudo, and I have been dying to get my hands on this song! It's awesome.
Martin 2007/12/09 12:40 PM
Fokof nou Is al. Sing fokol. Is Fokop. Fokof nou.
Regardt 2008/01/08 5:54 PM
Befokte Album Francios is 'n genius. Dit is 'n rowwe een,naaiers.
Melissa 2008/06/05 5:47 PM
Wow... Eks mal or di cd!!! Hule is i gr8 live act ok!! En k persoonlik dink ds onregverdig om hul t vergelyk met FPK, wnt FPK is legends sos di beatles legends is
Ruan 2008/07/23 10:39 AM
!!!!!!! 1 of the best S.A bands around,defnit!Awesome live!!
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