Vos Voisins

Vos Voisins were a Québécois psych-rock band that released the 1971 Polydor album Holocauste à Montréal.

Members: Jacques Perron (keyboards, vocals), Pierre Ringuet (drums), Serge Vallières (guitar), André Parenteau (bass)


Background

Vos Voisins (French for “your neighbors”) sprung from a partnership between keyboardist Jacques Perron and drummer Pierre Ringuet, who first teamed behind singer Louise Forestier in her backing band, Les Enzymes. Perron co-wrote her 1968 b-side “Quand Té Pas Là” and played on its parent album, the 1969 Gamma Records release L.F. Ringuet joined for her 1970 followup album Avec Enzymes.

The pair also appeared on the 1969–70 Polydor titles L’Argent… Ou Le Bonheur and Le Petit Jésus ~ Le Foetus ~ La Honte by comedian Yvon Deschamps. Le Petit Jésus also featured guitarist Serge Vallières. The three musicians (Perron, Ringuet, Vallières) appeared on the comic’s 1971 fourth album with another player, bassist André Parenteau, a veteran of Montreal’s garage-psych scene (Les Chanceliers, Les Sinners).

As a band, the four musicians parlayed their Deschamps association into a separate deal with Polydor. Their first release as Vos Voisins, “Le Coeur Sul Cant” (b/w “Dou Ra Ra Dou”), appeared in 1971 as a non-album single.


Holocauste à Montréal

Vos Voisins released their singular album, Holocauste à Montréal, in 1971 on Polydor (Canada). It features five songs composed by Jacques Perron and three (“Voisins,” “L’Instrumental,” “Le Monstre”) by Pierre Ringuet.

They delegated the lyrical task to Louise Forestier, who penned “Le 3/4 De L’Archevêque” and co-worded two songs (“Sous la Lune,” “Tania”) with actor Marcel Sabourin, a Robert Charlebois collaborator who lyricized the remaining Holocauste numbers.

A1. “Voisins (Mon Chum)” (3:10)
A2. “Sous la Lune” (4:46)
A3. “L’Instrumental” (4:27)
A4. “Tania” (5:05)
B1. “Le Monstre de la Main Ou the Main Monster” (6:05)
B2. “Y’a Juste de T’ça” (3:49)
B3. “Le 3/4 de L’Archevêque” (6:07)

Vos Voisins recorded the album with Le Petit Jésus soundman Michel Lachance, who also worked on 1970–71 titles by The Bells and Freedom North.

Avec Enzymes illustrator Daniel Couvreur designed the Holocauste à Montréal cover, which presents mock-mugshots of Vos Voisins in a spoof headline cribbed from Allo Police, a then-popular Québécois tabloid. Allo Police filed an injunction against the album, which Polydor swiftly pulled from shelves and reissued in a plain cover.

Despite the controversy, “The Main Monster” received local airplay. Polydor issued a promo 7″ of “Voisins (Mon Chum)” (b/w “Y’a Juste De T’ca”).


Later Activity

Serge Vallières surfaced in the Ville Emard Blues Band, which made the 1974–75 albums Live À Montréal and Ville Emard on Funkébec.

Jacques Perron rejoined Louise Forestier’s backing band, where he played alongside André Parenteau. Both musicians (along with Pierre Ringuet) also played on mid-Seventies albums by singer Pauline Julien. Parenteau and Ringuet appear behind singer–guitarist Ovila B. Blais on the 1976 Gamma release Pass’ Moé Un Québec… Que J’M’Amuse Avec.

In 1977, Polydor reissued Holocauste as Vos Voisins with a color cover that shows the fire escape of a bleak brick tenement.


Discography:

  • Holocauste à Montréal [aka Vos Voisins] (1971)

Sources:

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