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Eclectic Prog • Italy

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Gecko's Tear biography
With already a consistent background in music, Italian band GECKO'S TEAR tries to maintain a vitality of progressive influence in modern times. It started originally with a prog-metal attitude, formed by Claudio Mirone and Tony De Vivo, in 1999, winning local contests and recognition and chaning line-up and direction for the next five years. In the current formation and promotion, they've moved towards a prog-rock band of a fusion rhythmic issue, by a prog keyboardist (Carlo Castellano till 2005, former Polimnia Giovanni Gregorio afterwards), a rock-metal guitarist, a prog rock singer and an open-minded composer (Claudio Mirone), an ecclectic drummer (Marco Castaldo) and a deep bassist (Roberto Cantoni till 2004, Aldo Ruggiero afterwards).

The musical aim of GECKO'S TEARis to get together the "vintage" prog rock (GONG, KING CRIMSON, RUSH) with the more modern and heavy patterns of the new prog (DREAM THEATER, PAIN OF SALVATION.), also remembering the great immortal genius that is, for them and for all of us, FRANK ZAPPA and trying to re-elaborate the music air in a more innovative and creative way. The singing is also personalized up to the influences of TIM and JEFF BUCKLEY, SYD BARRETT, DEMETRIO STRATOS,DANIEL GILDENLOW. They compose, sing and play in both Italian and English.

GECKO'S TEAR has a proud attribute in "MovimentiPROG - Demetrio Stratos" prize they've received in 2004. They also have two or three notable performances, playing with ISILDURS BANE and ARTI E MESTIERI together with THE WATCH at the Art Rock festival, May 2005, togheter with PAIN OF SALVATION in Milan, Sept. 2005 and performing in the 2006 Afraka festival, along with names like OSANNA, KEITH EMERSON, CARL PALMER, JAMES SENESE, NAPOLI CENTRALE, ENZO AVITABILE, 24 GRANA and others.

Their first material, a six-track-demo "Ecco: Stvrlcz!", released in 2004, receives interesting applauses from music magazines. "Contradiction", the debut album, released 2006, emphases even more their style, their passion and their elaborate sense, being a recommendable Art heavy discipline Rock full flavor.

- Victor "Philip" Parau (aka Ricochet) -

Why this artist must be listed in :
Approved by the Art Rock team, GECKO'S TEAR are an interesting example of an Italian prog band that do not follow in the footsteps of the great Symphonic acts of the Seventies, but rather strive for an original sound of their own.

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GECKO'S TEAR discography

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GECKO'S TEAR top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.74 | 16 ratings
3.43 | 7 ratings

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4.00 | 1 ratings
Ecco: Stvrlkz!


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Contradiction by GECKO'S TEAR album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.74 | 16 ratings

Gecko's Tear Eclectic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars This Italian quartet (plus a few guests) are looking to America as they bring in loads of Zappa influences to create an album that is somehow both accessible while being extremely complex and off the wall. I suppose the nearest current band to compare them with would probably be Frogg Café, but somehow that doesn't really capture the beauty of the very complicated and definitely progressive album. That this is a guitarist's album is never in doubt, nor is the fact that this is definitely progressive as it rips themes and styles from so many different places and somehow managed to put it all back together in a different order, but making sense. There is even a small classical section in closing track "Bourgeois" which just manages to provide even more emphasis to the Talking Heads meets Zappa for a buffet where they sample everything feel of what is going on around it.

This could never be termed 'neo-prog', but is gain furthering the rich tradition of truly progressive bands that have come out of Italy. This is one that is extremely complex while also maintaining a simplicity that allows the listener to get into what is going on, although it does hurt when the jaw keeps hitting the table. These are very fine musicians indeed who know what each other is about.

 Contradiction by GECKO'S TEAR album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.74 | 16 ratings

Gecko's Tear Eclectic Prog

Review by Wicket
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A very unique prog album to come from Italy.

Besides spaghetti and furious soccer players, Italy is the home of many symphonic prog bands, so many, in fact, they have their own subgenre here on ProgArchives. Yet Gecko's Tear breaks the mold here. "Contradiction", their first disc is more of a standard jam band rock formation using may technical scales and time signatures more commonly found in bands like Dream Theater, King Crimson and Van Der Graff Generator.

"Agartha" starts off in that similar function. The technicality and instrumental abilities of guitar player Claudio Mirone is superb, equally reminiscent of John Petrucci's guitar playing. It's a tough track to get through if those complex rhythms and atonal harmonies don't sit well in your stomach, but it gets even better with "Mental Hygiene", as the outfit serves up a funky, almost jazz-type beat here. It's a very uptempo beat ( for most of the time), but it's a stark contrast to the first track. Again, the technicality of this group is unprecident, as they march through unconventional time sigs and stop-go beats like they've done it their whole lives (which they probably have). A very interesting track for sure.

Then "My Own Shelter" throws a different curveball, as this is way more accessible to radio listeners than, say, Cannibal Corpse. This is more of a poppy radio track, albeit split in half by an unusual guitar solo, but this is a more refined, nicer prog track, similar to "Georgia Pine" by echolyn or "All On A Sunday" by Spock's Beard. These types of tracks are by wonderful prog groups who have also proven that they can make a song that pop stars can listen to as well.

"SPQA" lurches right back into the complex, technical prog once again. This song (the intro especially) rings hints of prog metal in the mix, but this disc is just not heavy enough throughout all nine tracks. Even though it is a heavier disc than, say, VDGG's "Godbluff", the complex atonal rhythms are there (Mirone's singing even reminds me of Peter Hamill; not as operatic as Geddy Lee, and not exactly smooth in songwriting, but it adds another element to focus on throughout their songs). Mirone and Aldo Ruggiero on bass do solo is up quite a bit in the middle, though, with Giovanni Greggorio creating a unique atmosphere on keys.

"Belly Bottom" erupts with a furious drum solo by Marco Castaldo, yet after which it opens up with a typical symphonic prog opening, with Greggori (anyone named Giovanni is automatically badass in my book) rocking it on keys (with a typical prog organ voice). Mirone's voice is once again stop-and-go in random patterns and rhythms. Yet, if you are a typical fan of eclectic prog, that type of singing is usually common in most bands (save for maybe King Crimson on some records). The instrumental section in the middle is quite entertaining in a complicated 5/4 time sig. Even though many prog groups (such as Rush and Dream Theater) love using the 7/8 time sig (although some really good technical groups turn 3/4 into musician's nightmare), 5/4 is by far one of the hardest time signatures to even learn, not just to master. The nice funky fusion ending is entertaining as well.

"On The Wings" is a very intriguing take on a slow, funky ballad. Castaldo turns a typical funky drumline and modifies it to his own unorthodox taste, and it really helps to distinguish this particular "soft, slow" song from every other. Greggorio's subtle keys at the end really alter the mood though the was put in place by the track to begin with, which helps to segue into "Unsaid" which bursts back into their stutter-step, jerky prog playing. Despite that, the technical abilities by these musicians are just outstanding and complex.

And, of course, that jerky, technical playing continues (and concludes) with "Bourgeois". To be honest, once you've heard one track, you've heard the rest, but it's still a phenomenal disc, especially for a debut at that. More often than not, though, "Bourgeois" reminds me of a softer uneXpect, especially towards the end where they play a ditty of "Tocatta and Fugue" and contsantly move from a frantic punk-metal spaz-attack to a funky, jazzy lounge scene, culminating with a arena rock, 1 minute long outro.

Despite the spastic approach of it all, it's still a very enticing disc, especially for fans of eclectic prog. It's nothing incredibly special, but it's a record that any fan of the genre will instantly be familiar with.

 Contradiction by GECKO'S TEAR album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.74 | 16 ratings

Gecko's Tear Eclectic Prog

Review by Warholizer

4 stars an imaginative album full of surprises and irony (and self-irony).

I had the luck to see them live at a progfest, when I didn't know about them, and I was really surprised by their vitality and profusion of different moments.

they can be too much maximalistic to please everyone, but certainly they don't fail at keeping the audience's attention alive.

there are quite clear references to Area and Zappa work, even to Gong, but this references are not disturbing at all as they come from completely different styles (unless you find Gong and Zappa to be similar).

I strongly recommend this record to people liking ecleptic music and which like music with a touch of irony.

 Contradiction by GECKO'S TEAR album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.74 | 16 ratings

Gecko's Tear Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars As much as parts of this album impress me to no end, there are other parts that I can't wait until they're over. Such is the nature of this record though, hence the title "Contradiction" is an apt one. These guys can play with the best of them, and they offer up so much variety like Metal, Jazz, Avant-Garde, heavy and spacey. I'm sure i'm missing a few. This is also quite humerous at times with silly vocals and lyrics. So this won't be everyone's cup of tea, but everyone will like at least some of this. These guys have so much potential.

"Agartha" is spacey to begin with until piano takes over. Before we get a minute in we've been hit with a full sound of heavy drums and ripping guitar. And so the ride begins as we go from mellow with piano, to complex with silliness, to dissonant. Love the bass around 3 1/2 minutes,and the melody 8 minutes in. This is one of my favourite songs on here. The vocals are very well done by the way. "Mental Hygiene" has a spacey intro with vocal melodies before a jazzy section comes and goes. Drums and silly lyrics follow. "My Own Shelter" contrasts the lighter passages with the heavy ones with vocals. Nice bass especially 4 minutes in. This is a good one but nothing more. "SPQA" sounds amazing to begin with but it's very short lived. A reggae ryhthm comes in with vocals. It changes again. I like the instrumental section 4 1/2 minutes in. Silly vocals follow. I feel like i'm being teased with these short outbursts of amazing music.

"Belly Botton" features prominant drums throughout with theatrical vocals and an island vibe. Guitar 2 1/2 minutes in is great and it reminds me of Lifeson. Keys take over a minute later before silliness returns. "On The Wings" opens with a dark mood as vocals come in. I like this serious side of the band. It brightens 1 1/2 minutes in reminding me of POS. Great passage.This song and the opening track are my favs. "Unsaid" rocks out pretty good between the bizarre vocals. Incredible sound 3 minutes in before silly vocals return 4 minutes in to end it. "Bourgeois" is uptempo with more funny vocals. Serious vocals and a calmer sound come in. The contrast continues. An amazing instrumental display 4 minutes in to end it.

I can't honestly say that this is inconsistant because this is what they created on purpose. Yes I think these guys are crazy, but man can they play ! 3.5 stars.

 Contradiction by GECKO'S TEAR album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.74 | 16 ratings

Gecko's Tear Eclectic Prog

Review by domizia

4 stars Gecko's Tear were already marked as outstanding after they won the Italian contest organized by "Movimenti Prog", dedicated to Demetrio Stratos, the former singer of Area; and for their support act of the Swedish band Isildurs Bane and Arti e Mestieri. Gecko's Tear's music is definitely far from average schemes and our time's standards... while listening to it, mind goes to "vintage" heores such as Yes, King Crimson, Rush, Genesis, ELP & Zappa but, and this is not blasphemous, the Geckos can incline towards a more modern prog, flirting with jazz-rock and "keeping a foot" into rock in opposition, influences that are anyway present in their compositions, so rich in unusual diversions and embellishments of various kinds. The vocals of our Claudio Mirone, carismatic leader of the band and its main compositive source, melts away nicely in the instrumental dimension; the lirycs are English but, as curious and witty as it may seem, when they play Italy, in order to communicate more easily the songs' contents, Geckos use to sing in Italian! Gecko's Tear's first album is a real, fascinating universe of influences and quotes, in which prog metal is surely a component, but not the most evindent not the most charming. There is often occasion for dilated moments that taste like space rock, besides the patent reminescenses of classic prog as in "On the wings", eveni RIO quotes in "SPQA", plus pleasant fusion digressions, as in "Mental hygiene", reminding of Frank Zappa. A suprising record, patently progressive, in the most vast meaning of the word.
Thanks to Ricochet for the artist addition.

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