Not a Good Sign — Not a Good Sign
(AltrOck Productions FAD009, 2013, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-08-27Not a Good Sign. What an unfortunate name for a band; that has to rank among the all-time worst. But don’t let that influence your decision whether to check this band out, the music herein is nothing short of exceptional. Not a Good Sign is actually a “project” band featuring two key members of Yugen (keyboardist Paolo Botta and guitarist Francesco Zago) and two members of La Coscienza di Zeno (bassist Gabriele G. Colombi and vocalist Alessio Calandriello), with the lineup being rounded out by drummer Martino Malacrida. Several guests players join on piano and cello, track depending, and most notably vocalist Sharron Fortnam sings on “Witchcraft by a Picture.” The nine tracks here, mostly penned by the Botta / Zago contingent, are more in the classic proggy-prog vein than the avant-prog style of their other band Yugen. Vintage analog keyboards rule their sound, while the complexities and dynamics of the classic symphonic progressive style inform all nine of the compositions; Calandriello is a commanding singer powering the entire effort. Because of his vocal style and plenty of other factors, I am sometimes reminded of the recent work by the band Cast. There are plenty of labyrinthine bends and twists in the plot to keep this interesting over the long haul, and after at least a dozen plays, this writer is still hearing many surprises previously unnoticed. Definitely a good sign!
Related artist(s): Not a Good Sign
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
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more