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Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy

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The Badge biography
Originally formed in the late Sixties by a group of friends, and finding their sound throughout the Seventies, Italian band THE BADGE took great interest and personal inspiration from bands like the New Trolls, who, at the time, were fusing an inventive mix of rock and classical music on their landmark `Concerto Grosso' album. Founding member and keyboardist Angelo Isaia wrote the majority of The Badge's music, which the band performed live to much acclaim. However, despite never actually officially disbanding, all the musicians devoted their time to other musical projects, and never managed to properly record any of the material in their prime years. But over forty years later, The Badge entered a studio and recorded their existing compositions for the official debut album.

2015's `La Relazioni Pericolose' (`Dangerous Liaisons') offers plenty of longer suites with classical adaptions and similarly inspired cultured flavours seamlessly woven to their own symphonic rock compositions. The album is dominated by the vintage keyboards and passionate vocal flair that are the hallmarks of the Rock Progressivo Italiano style, as well as having an exciting rough sound, and offering a pleasing sense of fun too! The band and their first album come highly recommended to Seventies Italian prog fans, so say hello to forty year old band THE BADGE - for the first time!

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3.07 | 26 ratings
La Relazioni Pericolose

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 La Relazioni Pericolose by BADGE, THE album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.07 | 26 ratings

La Relazioni Pericolose
The Badge Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Music By Mail

1 stars What an awful discovery! Nearly everything here is wrong, faulty, uninspiring, showing an extreme bad taste in musical choices and I don't say this to be smart! This is the first recording of musicians who have been there since the late 60's and God ... how I understand that nothing was contracted if the music back then was like the one heard here. Honestly, this should never have been released and I doubt there will be a following! I will not comment track by track but if you happen to buy this record, here are things you will face, provided you have a good ear!

1. intonations problems with singing, a few times decidedly false! 2. guitar at the limit og being out of tune (especially on track 1) 3. an amalgam of musical clichés 4. unstable tempi, speeding up and unable to keep it tight. Awful drum rolls, neither always in place 5. a bag of musical styles that you can throw out randomly, without any thinking, some of it being for ex. pure rock 'n' roll having nothing to do with retro-prog flood but put together with the worst taste possible. 6. A total lack of understanding transitions in a piece, and glueing a part with another on the spot ... a weird effect!

It seems like those guys tried to make a catalog of what they like but they don't have the creativity, the chops, the flame and so on ...

The only positive thing I could pull from this cheesy bag are the sounds of the various keyboards but you have heard those vintage instruments so many times before that also THIS works like a repetition of "déjà vu" and it has nothing to do with the playing, it's just programmed!

I wonder how Beppe Crovella could accept working on .... this! A huge (SIGH) herefrom ... it has been a very long time since I heard something of such a low artistic level. Not even for completionists (the one star grading).

 La Relazioni Pericolose by BADGE, THE album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.07 | 26 ratings

La Relazioni Pericolose
The Badge Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Classical music has always been one of the biggest inspirations for many Rock Progressivo Italiano (RPI) artists and albums both from the vintage and modern eras, as well as being a key ingredient in much of the sound often associated with the progressive music that hails from Italy. Some implement classical elements with subtlety and restraint, while others, such as the band we have here, are more overt and obvious! Enter The Badge, an Italian band who, despite actually being around in the late 60's/early 70's, only officially recorded their own compositions from the time now, which is not as unusual as it sounds (Il Cerchio D'Oro is another that instantly comes to mind). But The Badge hail Italian prog legends New Trolls and their ground-breaking mix of classical music with rock on their album `Concerto Grosso' from 1971 as a big influence from back in the day, and they present their own fusion of those styles on, after forty years, their debut album `La Relazioni Pericolose' (`Dangerous Liaisons'), finally arriving in 2015!

The self-titled eighteen minute opener combines grand symphonic prog with instantly recognizable lavish classical adaptions and similarly inspired cultured flavours. A mix of instrumental fancy and warm raspy vocal passages, Angelo Isaia supplies an army of vintage keyboards, regal organ and glorious pretty piano (and probably a little dazzling harpsichord thrown in for good measure too!), Sergio Isaia's sweetly murmuring bass is thick and upfront, Pino Atzori's drums rattle with purpose, and guitarist Fiore Colombo reveals a very distinctive rough-around-the-edges quality that is a real standout throughout the entire disc. An instant comparison is, of course, similar styled tracks from bands such as P.F.M, the New Trolls and Osanna, but closer inspection reveals a band which many more tricks up their sleeve throughout the rest of the disc...

While that opener will get most of the attention, it's when The Badge moves away from the classical interpretations that things get much more interesting, and the band reveal an eclectic range of styles and sounds, each track full of so many instrumental diversions racing off in all sorts of schizophrenic directions! Looking at some of the highlights, `Anni '70' settles into a pleasing acoustic tune with warm group alternating vocals, and especially listen out for some beautifully scratchy Mellotron and Hammond organ humming with rays of golden sunlight! `Ancora...' is a wild Osanna-like dirty guitar driven rocker that's really just an excuse for aggressive instrumental soloing - no bad thing at all! The semi-comical `Burokrat' will probably make more sense to those who speak Italian, a 70's styled plodding rocker with loopy psychedelic breaks, and the ten minute closer `La Leggenda del Lago' raises some symphonic/gothic drama with booming church organ throughout.

Sometimes the classical moments are shamelessly crowd-pleasing, but it is not merely some gimmick - this is grand Italian prog in the most theatrical, swooning manner possible, and these elements will instantly be an attraction for fans of bands like the New Trolls. But it's actually when the band step away from the classical sounds that they display plenty of original ideas all their own, and they possess endless technical skill that delivers scorching instrumental interplay with a refreshingly rough sound and strong vocal melodies with attractive harmonies. Combined, they make the forty years that it took to get ` La Relazioni Pericolose' made well worth the wait!

Four stars for what is bound to be a very popular Italian prog album in 2015!

Thanks to aussie-byrd-brother for the artist addition.

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