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Side C - Stati d' Alienazione CD (album) cover

STATI D' ALIENAZIONE

Side C

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.03 | 4 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Fine rookie hybrid band, full of spirit and promise

Side C are a young band from Verona who have released their debut EP in 2009. The 5-piece offers a somewhat eclectic hybrid of various genre/band influences both within and outside of the RPI movement. Conversing with the band they view themselves through the prism of a modern band accepting of all influence but you can clearly hear their love for the Italian scene coming through. Their future direction will no doubt become clearer as they continue to work on new material, but for now we have a band that is both promising, dramatic, and melodic, surely pleasing to fans of RPI, symphonic, and crossover genres. Their maiden EP reminds me a little bit of the Coral Caves EP from a few years back, less Floydian than that, but a similar mix of the old and new schools of prog rock.

What struck me straight off as I enjoyed their CD was the feistiness in songwriting and playing, and the power of the vocals. The four 6-8 minute tracks on the EP "Stati d' Alienazione" introduce us to one of the few female vocalists who come to mind when thinking of RPI bands these days. Laura Bressan sings with great power and passion in the tradition of RPI and thankfully she chooses Italian over English here on three of the four track (stick with the Italian lyrics Laura, we love it!) Michele Zanotti is a talented guitarist propelling many sections with distorted power chords but always ready to throw the change-ups at you. Keyboardist Thomas Pessina employs synth, organ, and my favorite piano throughout, capable of both thoughtful solo runs and lovely atmospherics. Rhythm section features Paola Cantachin on bass and Giulio Stevanoni on the kit, together forming a solid and energetic frame for the band. The tracks are for the most part simply wonderful. Side C pulls together listener-friendly progressive rock as played by many modern bands these days, using melodic music and catchy hooks to pull the listener in, but thankfully they move beyond that as well. There are lots of side excursions where the guitar or keys will break off into these cool little sections of funky or jazzy rock, or classically tinged keyboard. The transition is often a bit abrupt and the excursion too short lived but I truly love those moments as they are a hallmark of RPI. They combine some mainstream tendencies with old school mischief (not unlike Coral Caves) and I hope their love of Banco wins out over the former because I am fascinated to see where they go next. "Radio alienazione/imperfezione" begins with a catchy, almost latin-flavored mode hooked to the first powerful chorus by a fantastic little piano transition. Beautiful and uplifting right from the gate! It builds and pushes Bressan's vocals, a nice opening statement. "L'altro lato" combines a bright and cheery American AOR keyboard sound (think Styx) with Italian panache and even jazzy undertones. "slowly dies" is my least favorite because it's English and I'm a language snob as regards RPI, but the softer moments of the track allow you to hear the other side of Laura's vocal, and the drums and bass come through warmly with the acoustic guitar. The middle of closer "nuova speranza" features a very cool keyboard/guitar improv sparring section that generates some really inviting moments. A beautiful ending to the song ties together the radio sound effects from the beginning. A solid little disc for the beginning of this group and one that will have me watching them in the future. Selfishly I would like to see them veer toward the Italian prog strengths in their arsenal as I can truly feel the potential there, but the band will have to follow their heart of course! Bravo Side C!

The cover art is wonderful and personal taking up both front and back covers. Likely drawn by a friend of the group it shows the members walking up a hill from the beginning of their journey as they search for the muse. The band admitted that they lacked the studio time necessary to get the sound just as they want it, but really there is not much to apologize for. Sure, the production could be better but the music here completely trumps any concern over production to this listener. The EP is available to stream in its entirety on their Myspace page, for free, so listen and write them a review of your own. For those who wish to buy a CD version, you can contact the band and ask for details.

Finnforest | 3/5 |

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