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Jumbo - Vietato Ai Minori Di 18 Anni ? CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.11 | 135 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
5 stars Very few Italian prog records come to the waist of this baby, and generally this writer is not that much a fan of Italian prog, but if more albums of this caliber existed, it would go otherwise. While the group is a late discovery in this writer's culture, I must say that it definitely ranks in my top 5 Italian albums and it is little surprise once you'll get an ear on this beauty. The least I can say is that this album cannot be played anytime as it will never fit background music: one must be ready and in the mood for this, or else one can easily dismiss as a weird drugged out album, which in some ways.. it is!! Coming with an intriguing artwork, the groups "suffered" a minor line-up change with Granatello replacing Balzano on the drum stool, and this is much to the group's benefit.

If anything, Jumbo's "Forbidden to minors of 18 years" (or rated R in the film industry) title can already give you a hint of how singular the mood and music is, you're only halfway there. After the much-improved DNA (over the eponymous debut album), there is at least the same margin between DNA and Vietato. While we still have some traces of the bluesy rock of the debut album, the group is now a full-freaked out prog band that creates its own uncanny world, where Crimson and Zappa clash it out with Floyd and VdGG for our greatest intellectual pleasure and our ears' orgasmic pelvis thrusts into the speakers to reach out into the disturbed realm of the group.

Right from the opening lines of Specchio until the (not-that) soft flute outro of No! A scream of refusal coming much too late, the damage being done as you are irremediably over the edge, addicted to the worst kind of drugs: prog paradise. In the meantime, you'll have gone by the fantastic (and too short) Come Vorrei, the reprise of Signor K (a wink to their excellent predecessor DNA), the "UZ meets GG" realm of Via Larga (the almost burlesque spirit is made solemn is driving chill-spikes down your spine) or Battiato's great VCS3 oscillators and Vaccina's bells and chimes' sinister tolling.

But the real centerpiece is Gil, which after an purposely fast and happy start, stops and reflects than starts over in the most somber and darkest manner of all (underlined by a mellotron and Fender Rhodes), while Fella's voice is planting fears seeds in your neurons (this track sounds like Comus's Wootton playing on Crimson's ITCOFTCK) and digging out tons of sane braincells. The Gil track, ending with a percussion duo, segues into the no-less frightening Vangelo with the goose-bump-giving bell tolling into whatever's left of your sanity. And if that was not enough, some wind chimes will drive you over the edge some 40 Degrees too far into madness, sounding like a frightening Floyd through Interstellar Eugene's Heart Of The Sun meeting Crimson's Poseidon's Glass Tears. Simply awesome, and terrifyingly beautiful

Obviously such a disturbing masterpiece was not going to get much airplay, which is partly why Jumbo remains one of Italy's better-kept secrets. In some ways, lyrically, we are not far from Comus or Jan Dukes De Grey's disturbing texts, especially that the music seems to reflect the somber moods of Jumbo's angers and anxieties. Recommended? Do bears defecate in the woods?

Sean Trane | 5/5 |


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