Litovsk: French Punk Band Makes a Great Comeback With a New Mini-LP (Premiere)

The brilliant band Litovsk from the French city of Brest are back on the punk map and are streaming their new mini-LP.

Formed in the coastal city of Brest in the Brittany region of France, Litovsk are a chorus-pedal driven punk band with a distinct post-punk influence.

Litovsk played their first gig at the end of 2013, at the height of the global post-punk revival. The band came together around their bass player, Clair’s idea to create a band influenced by both Spectres, The Estranged and 2010s era bands, mixing classic post-punk influences with old British anarcho-punk like A Touch of Hysteria, Zounds and a touch of Blitz. So far Litovsk have played around 100 gigs in France, Germany, Eastern Europe, Spain, Euskal Herria, Ireland, United Kingdom, Denmark, Greece, etc. Although the band was formed in Brest, where all the members met, two of them now live in distant places, which makes rehearsals and releases much more difficult.

After 2018’s excellent Dispossessed LP, a short EP and a split 7-inch with fellow French bands Alarm, Barren? and Douche Froide in 2019, Litovsk are finally making a comeback with a new self-titled mini-LP on French DIY labels Symphony of Destruction and Destructure Records.


“With this new LP, to sum it up, lyrically and conceptually, our bass player was influenced by the 1982 Beat Surrender LP by The Jam and the book ‘The Beach’ by Cesare Pavese. This was the starting point for these five new tracks, influenced by the theme of the beach when we were teenagers”, the band comments on the new record.

In “La Plage”, one of Litovsk’s singers, Damou, sings about love, fighting and his experiences as a 15 or 16-year-old teenager on the coast of South Finistère, while their other singer, Manu, tries to recreate his memories of youth in Central Brittany in “Riverside”, a song about teenage boredom, moped riding and getting drunk to hide the fact that you’re living in a shithole. The song was also influenced by Nicolas Mathieu’s book ‘Their Kids After Them’, which deals with basically the same themes but is set in Eastern France in the late 1990s. The idea of spending late afternoons on the beach is also brilliantly captured and bolstered by photographer Evan Lunven in the photos scattered around the lyric sheet in the LP’s insert.


Litovsk state it wasn’t their intention at first, but in the end this mini-LP also says a lot about where they come from socially, as Damou talks on “Cerises et Grenades” about ten years of political resistance and struggle in Brest, about his and the band’s life in the city. In a way, the song is also a tribute to the French singer-songwriter and poet Jean Ferrat. Manu talks about his family history in “Auntie Christine”, a song about his aunt and her burdens of patriarchy, bigotry and social determinism. The last song “They Say Home is Where the Heart Is” is, in Manu’s own words, “a non-chauvinistic love letter to Brittany and a plea against nationalism or patriotism, because punks don’t need to wrap themselves in a fuckin’ flag”.

You can now listen to the album in its entirety on Bandcamp.

Well, let’s break it down, song by song!

The first song “Cerises et Grenades”, sung in French by one of the vocalists, evokes wonderfully nostalgic themes of lost youth, a time of fleeting joy that passes so quickly you can’t fully appreciate it until it’s gone. With a beautiful chorus and delay-driven guitar, not too dissimilar to the early work of R.E.M. and even The Pastels, the song with its emotional and slightly off-key vocals only adds to the nostalgic over-all effect—a great homage to a time long lost and an authentic type of DIY indie music that only certain people can enjoy!

“La Plage” also starts off very dreamy, with moments reminiscent of The Smiths and Johnny Marr’s ingenious jangly guitar work, and although the lyrical theme is different, the overall vibe is pretty similar to the first song on the mini-album. With catchy, effect-laden guitars and woefully nostalgic vocals, you could easily mistake this band for some forgotten ’80s musical gem, and that’s not to say they don’t sound original, they just evoke that ’80s jangly college rock feel so well in their own unique way!

The third song “Riverside” again starts with a heavy dose of guitar effects, mainly chorus I think, but also some delay. Thematically it deals with dreamy albeit woeful themes of lost youth, memories of beautiful and creative boredom and all the teen angst you can think of. At times similar to The Replacements more than R.E.M., but you can definitely hear some ’80s French Coldwave too, especially in the beautiful arpeggio parts!

“Auntie Christine” is a song about the social boundaries of toxic patriarchal culture and how the lyrical hero thinks this aunt of his just can’t seem to fathom that she is chained so heavily by these standards, always ignoring herself in favor of her family, but in the same time ignoring the signs which would have led to change. Nevertheless, she couldn’t hide the regret in her voice, as the second singer woefully sings. Maybe the saddest song on the mini-LP, with jangly melancholy guitars and a type of singing you can often hear in indie emo bands, “Auntie Christine” is a rollercoaster of emotions with a beautiful and very important message.

The last song, “They Say Home is Where the Heart is” is kind of a homage to Brittany and how the lyrical hero is eternally in love with the nature, the green fields, all the scenery and the overall atmosphere and cadence of their region. All this done without even a tiny bit of stupid patriotism, the song is just the singer expressing his feelings towards a favorite city where he always feels at home and we’re sure a lot of us can relate with some other Brittany out there. Once again the jangly guitars do not disappoint, unleashing their chorus-laden wall of sound so typical of the ’80s indie and post-punk bands that seem to be a big influence on these guys. You can even hear some twee pop in there, or is it just us? The wonderful combination of the two nostalgic voices and the mournful sounds of the guitars with the tight rhythm section in this neat little album is something that should definitely be on your radar this year!

Litovsk are also releasing a split 7″ EP with Tulle’s post-punk trio HININ via Bad Health Records, Dans le Vide, Donnez Moi Du Feu, Going Postal Records, Hidden Bay, Medication Time and Senseless Acts Of Anger. Both bands will be doing a short four-date tour of France, see below for a poster with all the tour dates.


DIY Conspiracy is free of ads

If you see value in the content we produce, please consider donating to help us keep the site running.

Donate (PayPal)

Read this next