Not a Good Sign — From a Distance
(AltrOck Productions FAD-019, 2015, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2015-05-13Seems like just yesterday I was spilling words about this unfortunately named band’s debut release, but time does fly. From a Distance is a powerful follow-up to the band’s excellent debut, and in most aspects a more direct progressive rock approach, though the band avoids a lot of the excesses that typify that genre, like long extended suites and a forced-retro sound with retro or faux-retro instrumentation. No, you won’t find any Mellotrons here, and the longest of the ten tracks is just over seven minutes – the average being much shorter. This bears more of classic progressive rock’s more complex elements presented with arrangements borne of current-era instrumentation, but informed by the greats of the past. Certainly one will be reminded of 70s Crimson, or early PFM at times, but those moments are mixed well with a blistering blend of current Italian songcraft. The songwriting team of founding members Francesco Zago (guitar) and Paolo “Ske” Botta (keyboards) remains intact (both also members of Yugen), with Zago composing most of the band’s English lyrics, delivered with power, punch and sensitivity by lead singer Alessio Calandriello. The band is rounded out by the rhythm section of incoming bassist Alessandro Cassani and drummer Martino Malacrida, plus several guests including pianist Maurizio Fasoli of Yugen on about four tracks, Jacopo Costa (vibraphone & glockenspiel) on five, and double-reed player Eleonora Grampa on three cuts, including the short, gentle keyboard based closer “Farewell” written by Botta, also featuring Fasoli and Grampa, as a farewell to Zago, who left the band shortly after the recording, since replaced by incoming guitarist Gian Marco Trevisan. No doubt the third album will be different from this one, but From a Distance builds on all the strengths of their debut.
Related artist(s): Not a Good Sign
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more
Nouvelles Lectures Cosmopolites - Friesengeist Part π - Ascendances – For the third installment of his Friesengeist series, Julien Ash has pared things down, utilizing only four musicians to augment his own keyboards and effects; previous releases featured eight or... (2008) » Read more