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4 stars The follow up of "La fiaba della buonanotte" was released in 2011 on the independent label Hertz Brigade Records and is titled "Rocq". The line up is the same as in the debut work and features Matteo Tambussi (vocals, guitar), Stefano Tiozzo (keyboards, guitar, backing vocals), Alessandro Ghigo (drums) and Alberto Ghigo (bass, backing vocals). On this work the band confirm that the strong theatrical attitude and the leaning for sarcasm and irony are their trademarks, all along with an excellent musicianship and a fresh, never banal song-writing that blends indie rock and operetta with vintage sounds, progressive and psychedelia.

The opener "Cardiopasto" (Cardio-meal) features some powerful organ passages and some heavy electric guitar riffs. The lyrics depict the surreal confession of a terrible crime: a man murdered his girlfriend, then ate her heart... "Officer, I tried hard to repress my instinct, to forget her whining / But it was my fate / I had to do it / Even Saturn was against me... It's not my fault if I drink blood / It's not my fault if I eat heart...". The atmosphere of the following "La festa dell'alloro" (The laurel party) is lighter and carefree. It's a funny, lively anthem against sadness and melancholy... "It's a kind of magic / Lively little words, a wriggle that drives me away / It makes cheerfulness come back / It has an addictive effect...".

"Karatechismo" is a caustic piece that deals with the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church about the use of anti-contraceptives. Next comes the short, ironic "Parlapetalo" that conjures up a sixty "beat" parody to portray a merciless, mean bank manager. "Mio fratello si droga" (My brother is a junky) features two guests musicians, Federico Bocchi (percussion and Alessandro Calindro (sax) who add more colours to the band's palette. It recalls the Italian "cantautore" Giorgio Gaber and his "teatro-canzone" - but with a heavier, sharper edge - and contains a strong criticism against the lack of ideals of an old-fashioned way of life. Then comes "For You", sung in English, that features a bitter-sweet, romantic mood and a retro atmosphere while the following "Il camaleonte" (The chameleon) recalls the Beatles and portrays an "ever-changing" man who deceives everyone to escape from his responsibilities.

"Il pesce" (The fish) and "Gli avvoltoi hanno fame" (The vultures are hungry) are linked together and form a complex mini suite inspired by the gospels. The visionary lyrics are sharp like dagger blades. A man betrayed by the kiss of a false friend asks: - What's left of all this years of hard work? The answer is bitter, almost cruel... "I will be the balm, I will become the spear and then the stone that will touch your head / The vultures are gliding on us / Their wings are light years long / Try to come down from your cross now, if you can / If I think back / These years have been years of hard work / What's left?... What's left?...".

"Scherzo n2 in mi minore" is sung in English and depicts a kind of ghastly dance around the grave of a suicidal humankind who raped mother Earth in the name of a "super libidinous, brand new god"... "I've been digging a hole / Down along the cove of black cold / Where they buried the world / Hellaluja!". The following "L'antipatico" (Unpleasant) is an ironic, swinging track that depicts a man who wishes all the possible bad luck to his enemy but then has to admit with a pinch of cynicism that, all in all they are not so different. The last track, "Soup de la maison", is sung partially in English and partially in Italian and draws an apocalyptic, psychedelic vision where a human rain falls down on the seabed for Neptune's banquet. While Jim Morrison and Freddy Mercury seem to smile in the background, "let the ocean carry you away...".

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Posted Friday, November 9, 2012 | Review Permalink

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