Exposé Online banner

Not a Good Sign — Icebound
((Not on label) NGS-001, 2018, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2018-06-25

Icebound Cover art

On their third album, Icebound, Not a Good Sign delivers a new level of complexity and ambitiousness in their work — the nine songs here easily representing their best effort to date, while supporting all of their achievements on the first two (Not a Good Sign from 2013 and From a Distance from 2015, both highly recommended). There are some changes: While lead singer Alessio Calandriello sings on this album, he has already left the band, and wasn’t in the lineup at the album’s release concert in Milan on May 5th. Also new is guitarist Gian Marco Trevisan, who sings and composes as well, joining the existing members Martino Malacrida (drums), Paolo “Ske” Botta (keys) and bassist / singer Alessandro Cassani. Another change is that this will mainly be available as a download (though a very limited edition of CDs will be produced) and is a self-production, not on the AltrOck label like the first two, although Marcello Marinone is still the producer, and plays timpano on “Not Yet.” The album features numerous guests, including violinist Eloisa Manera (from Artchipel Orchestra and Progenesi) on six of the album’s cuts, David Jackson (Van der Graaf Generator) plays sax and flute on the amazing ever-changing suite-length “Trapped In,” Margherita Botta plays toy glockenspiel and vocals on the first two songs, and Fabio Ceriani adds percussion on four of the tracks. Botta composed all the pieces except “Truth,” which is Trevisan’s contribution with lyrics by Antonio di Sarno, who ‘supervised’ the English lyrics throughout Icebound. The opener, “Second Thought,” is essentially an instrumental introduction showing the full band at their finest, while the seven minute “Frozen Words” follows it, sort of a pensive and dark piece that jumps into high gear midway through with several downright crazy guitar solos to liven up the proceedings, though even that is punctuated by a soft acoustic guitar passage. Two suite-length pieces, “Hidden Smile” and the aforementioned “Trapped In,” both top the nine-minute mark and offer plenty of turns and twists for the discriminating listener seeking something challenging, and along with “Truth” and “Down Below” make for a solid connection to the 70s heyday of the progressive rock idiom, without sounding like any earlier bands in particular, the spirit and emotion are there in a complete sense. Other much shorter tracks serve as instrumental interludes between the more powerful and complex numbers. All taken, Icebound takes the band up to the next level, and a promising future to come.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Not a Good Sign, David Jackson

More info
http://notagoodsign.bandcamp.com/album/icebound

Latest news

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Pink Floyd - The Division Bell – Eight years since their last studio release, Floyd have come forward with another fine collection of songs, with no real surprises — their timeless style intact — this could just as easily...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues