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The Winstons

Canterbury Scene

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The Winstons The Winstons album cover
3.92 | 136 ratings | 9 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2016

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Nicotine Freak (4:31)
2. カンガルー目 (Diprotodon) (4:07)
3. Play With The Rebels (3:40)
4. ... On A Dark Cloud (7:51)
5. She's My Face (4:20)
6. A Reason For Goodbye (5:59)
7. Dancing In The Park With A Gun (5:15)
8. Viaggio Nel Suono A Tre Dimensioni (3:33)
9. Tarmac (3:20)

Total Time 42:36

Bonus track on 2016 CD release:
10. 番号番号 (Number Number) (6:11)

Line-up / Musicians

- Enrico Gabrielli ("Enro Winston") / keyboards, woodwind, vocals
- Roberto Dell'Era ("Rob Winston") / bass, 12-string guitar, vocals
- Lino Gitto ("Linnon Winston") / drums, keyboards, vocals

- Xabier Iriondo / soundmetak (?) performer (1)
- Roberto D'Azzan / trumpet (4)

Releases information

Artwork: Kawamura Gun painting "Noi Siamo Nudisti Timidi" with Obst Und Gemüse (design)

LP AMS Records ‎- AMSLP118 (2016, Italy)

CD AMS Records ‎- AMS 263 CD (2016, Italy) With a bonus track

Thanks to Raff for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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THE WINSTONS The Winstons ratings distribution

(136 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(49%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

THE WINSTONS The Winstons reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
4 stars An Italian rock bizarre The WINSTONS have appeared on the rock music scene with their eponymous debut album upon their head veiled in white bandage. We Rock Progressivo Italiano freaks have thoroughly got immersed in their assertive, bombastic creativity, for their very first creation. Amazingly weird psychedelic keyboard reminds us of something like Canterbury or 60's oldie psychedelic scene, but their play can drive us mad because of their magical enthusiasm via sounds and melody lines appealing directly to our brain. Their play exactly sounds like an octopus that is rubbery but flexible, and the core of sound is not spineless at all.

Curiously, opposite to other Italian rock combo, their composition strategy is flooded with obvious musical diversity ... pop essence, cynical structure, mischievous material, and massive pleasure. Guess they have got extensively influenced by lots of rock vanguards, not only like 70s British or Italian ones but also like Canterbury, avantgarde, jazz rock, and old-fashioned psychedelic pioneers. For example, we can feel their miscellaneous vision (and their sincere sentiment for jazz rock in the latter part) through "A Reason For Goodbye" or touch their sincere sentiment for psychedelic pop in "Play With The Rebels". Such a sound variation via their experiences is quite unique, although their position as "a progressive rock band" is uncertain, vague and fuzzy.

Of course not all of the tracks in this production are innovative let me say, but at the same time it's pretty adventurous, addictive, and advantageous they have launched the first strike with multiple music (not only rock) essence into it. And it's amazing that some of their songs, if on stage, can give the audience spiritually enormous energy and power ... based upon their catchy melodic structure maybe. Personally meaningless, strange Japanese words cannot be avoided at all, anyway.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The result of the effort of a trio of Milanese pop stars when they turn their efforts to the pop- and jazz-side of the 1960s and 1970s psychedelic, Canterbury Scene--most specifically the styles explored by Robert Wyatt.

1. "Nicotine Freak" (4:32) starts out as a pure Robert Wyatt imitation--psycho-babble and all--and an amazingly accurate reproduction, at that. Organ, multiple voice tracks and a little intermittent background sax and electric guitar for the first two minutes. Then all hell breaks loose with the full band breaking into an awesome organ and bass pulse while the multiplicity of male vocal tracks play their weave over the top. Incredibly powerful second half! One of my top three songs for the album. (10/10)

2. "Diprotodon" (4:09) is probably the most solid Canterbury sounding song on the album (except for the chunky bass). The Farfisa organ play is so fun, so nostalgic! Very much in the same spirit as the two recent HOMUNCULUS RES albums, if a little more reliant on the horns (saxophones) and bass. Another top three song. (9/10)

3. "Play with the Rebels" (3:42) opens with flutes over organ and cymbal play. When the English vocal enters it takes on a kind of KOOP meets or Brit Pop like Eric Burden/The Animals, Rod Argent or Paul Weller or even Harry Nilsson late 1960s sophisticated intelligent pop feel to it. Aside from the Procul Harum-like organ, it is pure pop late 60s pop. Very, very good late 60s psychedelic pop. (9/10)

4. "?on a Dark Cloud" (7:53) opens like some kind of psycho journey until at 1:00 a pulsing STEREOLAB-like synth bass and Farfisa organ take the fore. Drums and horns begin their contributions at the 2:00 mark. At 2:37 another Robert WYATT-like vocal display takes center stage--only this time sounding more like John WETTON. The dominance of the heavy, chunky bass again takes us slightly away from Canterbury and more into King Crimson or even Zeuhl territory. (9/10)

5. "She's My Face" (4:22) returns us to the late 60s organ-dominated psychedelic pop. Sounds a little more emo than it needs. The carnival mood set at the 1:54 mark is cool but weird, but we are quickly turned back into a kind of WHO-frenzy with some BYRDS-like 12-string electric soloing. The song definitely grows on you. Could be a PAUL WELLER-like radio hit. (8/10)

6. "A Reason for Goodbye" (6:01) opens with a kind of minimalist structure of bass arpeggio and sparse cymbal play while the male lead vocalist sings with a kind of combined Roger Daltry-Robert Wyatt-Joe Strummer form. The jazzy bridge in the middle of the fourth minute is a nice twist before the song simplifies for a return to the vocalist's singing to Jennifer. The final 90 seconds has the band amping back up for a MOTORPSYCHO-like instrumental jam. (8/10)

7. "Dancing in the Park with a Gun" (5:17) is a definite Canterbury style song with a particularly direct social-political message. It is strongly imbued with the spirit of Robert Wyatt again. One of my top three songs of this album. Any song that uses the word "symmetry" is automatically held high in my esteem. Very psychedelic song. (9/10)

8. "Viaggio nel suono a tre dimensioni" (3:33) is an instrumental that opens and closes with a male voice speaking in Italian as if for radio/television or an advertisement. In between a kind of SIR DOUGLAS QUINTET frenetically paced round establishes itself. The bass play is fun, the swirling organ play, too. (8/10)

9. "Tarmac" (3:30) is a slowed down, bare bones piano-based dirge in which the Robert WYATT-like vocal performance exactly matches the melody play of the piano. So like Sir Robert's solo work. Probably the weakest song on the album. Musically. (7/10)

10."番号番号 (Number Number)" (6:11) is a very psychedelic take on the Canterbury style of music--with a Beatles/Doors influence as well. Apparently the lyrics for this song and 2. "Diprotodon" were written by Japanese artist Gun Kawamura (who did the album art) and sung in Japanese by Gabrielli and Dell-Era. The first half of the song drags on a bit, but the shift in tempo and style that begins with the bridge at 2:50 is awesome. Here is where the very distinct influence of The Beatles and The Doors can be felt. Good song. (8/10)

An album of refreshing mastery and creativity despite its draw from older music and artists. One of the few who has been able to synthesize older styles and sounds into a totally new and refreshing form. Very nice use of organ, jazzy drums and saxophone throughout. Kudos, Lino, Roberto and Enrico!

A 4.5 star album; a near-masterpiece of jazz-pop Canterbury-styled progressive rock music.

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Emerging out of nowhere over the last year with a misleading pop-group-sounding name and bizarre eye-catching artwork, the self-titled `The Winstons' is the 2016 debut album of a trio of Italian indie-rock/pop musicians relishing in their love of all things Canterbury scene, early Soft Machine and Robert Wyatt, and perhaps even related groups acts as the Dutch band Supersister, with a welcome dose of early Pink Floyd on the side as well! While the hero worship on display here is somewhat blatant in its influences, the group completely nail the restrained production, anything-goes psychedelic daring, jazzy inclinations and infectious pop smarts of the late sixties/early seventies, making the disc feel like it's truly a lost relic of that era!

Opener `Nicotine Freak' quickly impresses with Wyatt-like dreamily wheezing English vocals over quivering organ and faraway sax before bursting to life with subtle plodding grooves. `Diprotodon' marries manic electric piano and fuzzy `Piper at the Gates of Dawn'-era Pink Floyd-styled organ runs to endlessly pumping runaway horn and sax blasts. Flighty flute, ruminative bass murmurs and a drawled vocal make `Play with the Rebels' a sun-kissed pop tune blessed by the psychedelic gods, fuelled by rattling drum spasms and cutting organ slivers, and the early Floydian-tinged `...On a Dark Cloud' builds eerily on uneasy organ, snappy drum bursts, despondent trumpet drifts and restless vocal desperation that reveals a surprising gothic heaviness before launching into a deeply immersive dark-laced jazzy improvisation (shame about the abrupt fade-out though!).

`She's My Face' is a unashamedly Beatles-influenced psych/pop-rocker, Roberto Dell'era nailing a John Lennon-esque vocal snarl, and his mangled 12-string guitar abuse reminds of the classic early Byrds albums! The smoother verses of `A Reason for Goodbye' could easily have fit on power-popper Matthew Sweet's `In Reverse' disc, but while Lino Gitto's wilder grunting chorus outbursts are somewhat misplaced, the rest of the piece offers a thrashing and uptempo blast of wild honking sax and furiously busy drumming with sublime Fender Rhodes-fuelled races. `Dancing in the Park with a Gun' is playfully jazzy with a sweetly cooing Wyatt-like falsetto vocal that races into a stormy psychedelic vacuum. Instrumental `Viaggio nel Suono a Tre Dimensioni' rumbles with wild grooving acid-rock guitars, tearaway bass and never-ending Hammond organ retro-vibes, `Tarmac' is a seductively doomed piano lament that aches with beauty, and album closer `Number Number' mixes constant buzzing organ with a droning Japanese vocal (yes, really!) in between psych-era Beatles-esque lethargic slurs and a haze of dreamy group voices, all wrapped up with a hint of tasty danger throughout.

More than just a simple `clone' album, full of incredible energy and thrilling playing, `The Winstons' is not only one of the absolute standout Italian discs released over the last twelve months, but simply one of best psych-pop/Canterbury/take-your- pick releases of the year as well, one that will surely feature very highly on plenty of `Best of 2016' lists. Fans of `Volume 1 and 2' of the Soft Machine, early Pink Floyd and the psychedelic experimentation of pop tunes of the era should absolutely make this vinyl-length disc their next essential purchase, and it will be fascinating to see where The Winstons head from here!

Four and a half stars.

Review by Warthur
4 stars There's a small but notable subset of Italian prog musicians out there, going back to Picchio dal Pozzo, who fit less into the more symphonic-oriented RPI sound and whose approach has far more in common with the whimsical, psychedelic-jazzy playfulness of the Canterbury scene. The Winstons are the latest to dip their toes into these particular waters, with their debut album apparently being informed by extensive listens to early Soft Machine and Hatfield and the North's body of work. (They even work in some vocal harmonies reminiscent of the voice-as- instrument experiments of Robert Wyatt and the Northettes.) The musicians all have indie rock day jobs, but I'm glad they took the time to produce this touching tribute to this particular sound.
Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars Don't even think that this version of THE WINSTONS is the American funk and soul band that scored a top 10 hit way back in 1969. This band of the same name may SOUND like they've been sent here through a time machine from the past but they are in reality a contemporary animistic assembly of like minded individuals adamantly and unapologetically putting the CAN back in the Canterbury Scene by channeling the classics of the past while whipping up the whimsey, rousing the zeitgeists of the jazz-rock rabble and simultaneously sewing the different seeds of the 60s together into so far unforeseen ways thus proving (along with a few other contemporaries such as Amoeba Split) that the classic sounds of Soft Machine, Robert Wyatt, Gong and Caravan have long since left the jurisdiction of the River Stour in the English historic cathedral city and has in this case possessed three indie rock Italians from the modern metropolis of Milan. This power trio are all multi-instrumentalists going by the pseudonyms of Linnon Winston (Lino Gitto - vocals, organ, drums), Rob Winston (Roberto Dell'Era - vocals, bass) and Enro Winston (Enrico Gabrielli - organ, sax, bass clarinet, electric piano) but there is also a fourth guest musician: Roberto D'Azzan who brings some mean trumpet to this party!

Let the raucousness commence! As it all begins as an early Soft Machine reference with Robert Wyatt intonations then quickly leads to an organ drone with a sultry sax seeping in. Soon thereafter the organs are joined by the bass and it's party time! A beefy brash bass bellows out a grooviliscious pop hook with a Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd keyboard run that screams 1967 and the Summer Of Love with Soft Machine harmonies creating a melodious cantabile and oh yeah! Did i mention that organ? Perhaps the strongest instrument on board doubling as a time machine to the swinging 60s. This is a pure Canterbury tribute on this one with healthy doses of 60s psychedelic and garage rock all dancing happily together around the campfire with visions of paisley and tie-dye along for the ride. I can smell the patchouli! This is some serious retro-prog let loose and it's utterly amazing how this self-titled debut by THE WINSTONS gives nary a clue to the true time and date when this was released a mere five decades later in 2016.

While the two starters are hellbent on psychedelic 60s cross-pollinating with all things Canterbury Scene, the beauty of this album is how different the ten tracks laid out are from one another. "Play With The Rebels" brings more of a Procal Harum vibe to the mix while "...On A Dark Cloud" eschews the short song norm of the album for a longer more jam based psychedelic freakout frenzy. Once again the organs debut the oscillating rhythm while the bass picks up allowing the trumpet to add a slight Mariachi feel to the mix. And this just wouldn't be a proper Canterbury Scene genre inclusion if it didn't contain ample amounts of whacked out whimsy and adroit crapulous quirkiness. The first noticeable head scratching moment comes from the two tracks written and sung in the Japanese language. "カンガルー目 (Diprotodon)" and "番号番号 (Number Number)" were in fact written and by Gun Kawamura who also created the mondo bizarro album cover artwork and with hysterically named tracks such as "She's My Face" and "Dancing In The Park With A Gun," you can almost taste a Daevid Allen seal of approval.

While nostalgic purists may find this album in bad taste and too derivative of sacred cows, i find THE WINSTONS to take many puzzle pieces of the past and simply place these elements side by side in fresh creative ways. The Canterbury Scene is amongst progressive rocks greatest treasure trove of musical gems and oft cited as one of true prog lover's most beloved subgenres, therefore it seems quite the shame that this particular quirkily subset of jazzy rock has nearly gone extinct in recent decades. THE WINSTONS prove beyond a doubt that it is indeed possible to pay tribute to all the greats who came before and still come up with new ways of breathing some resuscitated life into the oldies but goodies. Brash and daring yet respectful and reverent. Despite not being English themselves, THE WINSTONS achieve in going to where even native Brits have gone over the years in faithfully capturing all those wonderful sounds that erupted in the 1960s UK without missing a beat.

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars THE WINSTONS for me have been a breath of fresh air in 2016. These three Italians share a love for Canterbury and late sixties psychedelia and have created an album that honours these styles of music. I have to say I wondered if this would be a paint by numbers record but man, not even close. By "paint by numbers" I mean trying to make an album that ticks the right boxes but not really knowing and loving the music like I felt Todd Rundgren did with his UTOPIA project that really felt to me like he was just trying to jump on the band-wagon. THE WINSTONS have really captured that Canterbury spirit I'll say that, and it's easy to tell they love this type of music because of the lengths they went to do it right. The little nods to certain bands and albums really brought me joy.

The cover art certainly conveys that joy and it was done by Japanese artist Gun Kawamura and it's so surreal along with the other art work that comes with this album. Oh, and Gun also wrote the lyrics to two tracks and THE WINSTONS actually sing those two tracks in Japanese! Love the distorted organ and keys, so good! Back to the band, these three multi-instrumentalists/ vocalists are well known in Italy's Indie scene playing in different bands yet touring across Italy with each other doing a series of concerts with their respective bands. These guys are long time close friends who I think have played their share of Canterbury and Psychedelic records.

"Nicotine Freak" is infectious to say the least. The focus is on the multi-vocals to start, some organ as well. A horn joins in before 1 1/2 minutes as the vocals step aside until before 2 minutes then it kicks in with a fairly heavy beat and pulsating organ. Man this sounds incredible! The vocals join in with harmonies. I love this track. "(Diprotodon)" is the first track with the Japanese lyrics. I like the melancholic organ/ drum intro as the vocals and horns kick in. The vocals do stop as the organ solos before 1 1/2 minutes and the drums continue but not for long as the horns and vocals return. A change before 2 1/2 minutes as the drums, bass and horns lead the way. The vocals and horns are back. "Play With The Rebels" opens with flute and man I'm in heaven right here as the bass and drums help out then the reserved vocals join in. The chorus is more powerful and quite uplifting as contrasts continue. I like the pulsating organ before 2 1/2 minutes.

"...On A Dark Cloud" opens with organ and atmosphere then it starts to pick up some, trumpet here too. I like this a lot. The vocals join in after 2 1/2 minutes sounding very Robert Wyatt-like. It then drifts off with organ, horn, a beat and vocal melodies as this is all repeated over and over. Nice. It then starts to wind down before we get a 1 1/2 minute instrumental to end it. The ending by the way is really cool as we get this excellent instrumental display including organ, flute, piano and drums. "She's My Face" has pulsating organ as bass, horns and a beat join in then vocals. So 60's sounding. Love it! We get a calm before 2 minutes with organ, vocals and more. A scream after 2 1/2 minutes as it kicks back in without vocals this time. Check out the guitar after 3 minutes! It then kicks back in with vocals.

"A Reason For Goodbye" is a fairly relaxed tune with vocals that come and go and more. Horns lead before 1 1/2 minutes as the they join in this instrumental section. The tempo starts to pickup and the horns blast before 2 1/2 minutes. Check out the electric piano, bass and driving beat that follows. The vocals return at 4 minutes then they stop as it gets fairly heavy with horns. "Dancing In The Park With A Gun"is such an uplifting and feel-good tune with those whimsical vocals and sound. A change before 2 minutes though as it changes completely to an experimental sound then this urgent rhythm takes over. It's experimental again when the rhythm stops at 3 1/2 minutes. It's spacey and insane at the same time. A melody is back at 4 1/2 minutes as the drums, electric piano, bass, and horns lead the way until the end.

"Viaggio Nel Suono A Tre Dimensioni" opens with sampled spoken words in Italian before this surprisingly heavy guitar kicks in then a full sound with pulsating organ. The organ starts to light it up then it all stops around 3 minutes as the sampled spoken words return. Dogs are barking along with many strange and experimental sounds. "Tarmac" is slow moving with melancholic piano and a repetitive but slow beat. Vocals are mournful bringing Wyatt to mind. It ends with floating organ and a beat. "Number, Number" is the final track and the other song with Japanese lyrics. There's lots of depth with organ over the top as multi-vocals join in and they are relaxed. A bass horn joins in as well. It turns uplifting before 2 minutes with vocals then the tempo picks up around 3 1/2 minutes, piano as well.

THE WINSTONS did something really special here in my opinion. I think it's funny that these three guys go by the pseudonyms of Linnon Winston, Enro Winston and Rob Winston. They certainly are brothers when it comes to music.

Latest members reviews

4 stars The 2016 debut LP by this Italian band, The Winstons being clear-cut students of early Prog Rock. I had no expectations, and yet I did sort of take my time getting to listening to them for the first time (here)--took my time moreso than usual, that is. To describe this merely as "Canterbury Scen ... (read more)

Report this review (#2710605) | Posted by DangHeck | Thursday, March 17, 2022 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 4/5, absolutely no more and no less. This album reminds me of Robert Wyatts whole career taken and blended up, then left to simmer in a barrel somewhere. Along the way some things break down, become ~indie rock~ and in 2016 you got The Winstons. Nicotine Freak opens politely then becomes one ... (read more)

Report this review (#2592247) | Posted by Beautiful Scarlet | Saturday, September 4, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 4.25 stars, a strong debut album! I listen to this one regularly now, it really suits all moods I could find myself in. It's dreamy and poppy and strongly influenced by the Canterbury scene. Straight away "Nicotine Freak" brings you in a few different directions before settling into a groove and ... (read more)

Report this review (#1701478) | Posted by Corcoranw687 | Monday, March 13, 2017 | Review Permanlink

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