The Rundown: Superbus is a French band, formed in 1999, who many call the French No Doubt. Superbus is a Power-Pop/Rock band comprised of Jennifer Ayache (singer/songwriter), Patrice Focone (guitar/backing vocals), Michel Giovannetti (guitar), François Even (bass/backing vocals), and Greg Jacks (drums). Superbus has released four albums: “Aéromusical” (2002), “Pop ‘n’ Gum” (2004), “Wow” (2006), and “Lova Lova” (2009). The name Superbus comes from the Latin word, superbus, meaning “proud”.
If you aren’t fluent in French, you might be a little confused when you listen to some songs, as they are sometimes sung in French, sometimes English, and sometimes a mix of the two. The music is intense, so the Power-Pop label is quit fitting. Jennifer Ayache, or Jenn as she is called, has an eccentric personality which is clearly evident in her songs and the band’s music videos.
Some of my favorite songs by Superbus are the ones that are all in French. For me, it’s not about knowing what the lyrics are, it’s about the sounds the instruments make. Songs like Ca Mousse and Lola are superb. That being said, it might also be nice to know what she is actually saying… English translations aren’t always available so your best bet is to learn French or find a friend who speaks the language. My favorite song by Superbus, even though I can’t understand what she’s saying, is Tchi Cum Bah.
Tchi Cum Bah starts off with a ska-esque guitar riff, followed by the French singing Jenn. The vocals, during the verse, sound as if Jenn is trying to plead her case to the listener. What she’s actually saying, I have no clue. The drums provide a moderate, simple beat, while the bass coexists with a catchy riff of its own. After a short first verse, the chorus comes screaming in. A much harder and distorted power-chord-wielding guitar begins to loudly play, while Jenn’s singing becomes much more matter of fact and almost angry. Such a great song.
The true test each artist or band must pass to be mentioned by MarsBands.com is how they sound live. This is a test Superbus passes with flying colors. Their songs are fantastic when performed live and many of them are perhaps better when done live, as opposed to a studio version. There are a lot of bands that only sound good in the studio, mostly because they lack any real musical talent but, hey, they’re pretty, let’s give them a record deal! Jenn is both pretty and incredibly musically gifted. When combined with her great personality, she has tremendous stage presence.
If you are so inclined, you might also check out the cover Superbus did of Blondie’s Heart of Glass. Arguably, it is as good or better than the original version. It’s a little more upbeat, a little quicker pace. Also, if you are a fan of their song Radio Song, you absolutely must check out their acoustic version. As of right now, Superbus is the all-time favorite French band of MarsBands.com. Magnifique!