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Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso - Banco CD (album) cover

BANCO

Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.14 | 185 ratings

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Pafnutij
2 stars Back in 1975, it may have seemed like a good idea release an English language album for the English speaking public - after all, PFM had done it a couple years earlier and apparently achieved considerable success. However, while "Banco" does create a decent picture of the band's style and musical tendencies, it's certainly not the place to start with this outstanding Italian prog band.

The main problem, of course, lies in the vocal performance. Francesco di Giacomo's voice still retains it's distinctive qualities, but the man is clearly uncomfortable singing in a foreign language, which ruins the listening experience considerably; and the lyrics are tolerable, but only just. I'm not too enthusiastic about the material presented either: although, as I mentioned earlier, it does cover the bases quite well, it could've been better selected and (re-)recorded. The one new track included on the album, "L'alberto del Pane", is a far cry from the band's finest moments; "Chorale", meanwhile, is a reworking of "Traccia II", which comes from "Io Sono Nato Libero" and is featured as well. "Io Sono."is in fact the most heavily represented of Banco's first three albums, with "Leave Me Alone" being "Non Mi Rompete" and "Nothing's the Same" being "Dopo niente." . The former I've never been fond of (although it's apparently a fan favorite) , but the latter is certainly one of the band's finest moments and certainly the strongest cut featured on "Banco"; unfortunately, as far as I remember, both tracks are note- for-note copies of the originals (except the vocals, of course), and thus are not that interesting if you've heard them previously. Another gripe is that nothing from "Darwin!" is included, although two cuts from the band's debut are: "Outside (R.I.P.) and "Metamorfosis". Once again, I don't consider "R.I.P." to be among the band's strongest tracks, but it is one of their best-known songs and is served in a slightly varied, but adequate version. However, "Metamorphosis" is stuffed with unnecessary repetition and rather uninspired jamming, making it considerably weaker than the original.

I wouldn't really recommend this record to anyone - not even a BMS fan, since there just isn't anything significant here. I assume it would still be of interest to the completionists though.

Pafnutij | 2/5 |

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