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La Pentola di Papin - Zero - 7 CD (album) cover

ZERO - 7

La Pentola di Papin


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.08 | 30 ratings

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2 stars 1971 all over again

La Pentola Di Papin was a short-lived band from Sondrio, formed in 1976 and releasing one album before breaking up soon after. Some have noted this was one of the last true Italian Prog albums, which is of course nonsense. RPI never ended but continued to evolve as did progressive rock in general. What they actually mean is that Zero 7 is one of the last albums to sound like 1971. For while this album was released at the time of Jet Lag and Locanda Delle Fate, it sounds more like the psych-hard rock stew of the early classic period. Whether the band intended to revisit the period so intentionally is anyone's guess. As my friend John notes in his Italian Prog blog there are two ways you can approach Zero 7. The cynical way is to note that the album was already 6 years out of style the day it was released, the other way it to kick back and enjoy a late entry to the early classic period sound.

Like many RPI bands these guys were obviously fans of the organ-heavy hard rock sound in the Deep Purple school and there isn't a whole lot of deviation, complexity, or experimentation. Instead the sound lies somewhere between New Trolls, psych rock and Italian pop. The songs are dominated by swirling Hammond organ and squalling fuzzy psych guitar throughout, often trading off long solos or doubling up for a heavy sound. The bass and drums support the early 70s love fest with a very warm, out front, and live performance sound. You can just visualize this rhythm section jamming in the studio, probably a small room with a lot of sweat and smoke going into the mics. The tracks themselves are on the basic side of hard prog bands, not too complex, mostly song-oriented with decent vocals and occasional longer instrumental sections. "Una Vecchia Storia" has a nice Rick Wright piano homage with chords resembling Great Gig In The Sky. There's nothing wrong with the songs per se, they just aren't particularly adventurous, though they certainly rock at times. The less than dynamic production works to their advantage here by giving them a bit more bar room authenticity. The stereo separation is not subtle at times; someone was having fun panning the sound back and forth. I have a hunch they were a great band to go see in local clubs of their day.

Far from representative of the best 70s RPI in my opinion, La Pentola is instead comfort food for any fan of fuzzed-up psych hard rock with a large side order of organ. If you love that stuff, you may find this excellent. For me, it's fun but not quite 3 stars.

Finnforest | 2/5 |


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