Exposé Online banner

Banco del Mutuo Soccorso — Darwin!
(RCA Victor 88697976912, 1972/2011, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 2017-03-16

Darwin! Cover art

One of the most alluring aspects of Italian progressive rock from 1972-1977 is the wide array of tonal coloring, particularly due to experimentation with analog synthesizers. This was a completely different era from the "patch" and a lot of these bands really seemed to work through their sounds so that very few of the monophonic synths had the exact same tone, even within a five minute period. This gave a lot of these albums a great deal of color and warmth. Banco del Mutuo Soccorso really expanded their sounds on their sophomore album, released months after their debut, and while the song lengths went down on average, it often seemed like they were cramming more ideas in. The dual keyboards here were almost luxurious at this point, featuring a skill usually only seen in classical music. This is the kind of record where multiple plays are mandatory due to the compositional depth, not to mention the lyrical range in expressing the album's concept, it sort of fulfills that cliché where the more you listen the more it reveals. If the first album was the one I prize most due to the heaviness, Darwin is one I most prize for its sheer range, it has an almost mindboggling amount of key and meter shifts, intricate group melodies and harmonies, all within the service of its brilliant songwriting.


Filed under: Reissues, 2011 releases, 1972 recordings

Related artist(s): Banco del Mutuo Soccorso

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music festival world, and music festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Németh Gábor Project - Könnyü lépések (Easy Steps) – Németh is a Hungarian drummer and employs a large number of sidemen on this collection of ten tracks on the Periferic label. The music here is post-bop, or whatever one wishes to call music with a...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues