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Rains — Apokalyptische Stadt
(Mellow MMP 400, 1999, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2001-12-01

Apokalyptische Stadt Cover art

This quartet from Verona, Italy plays a freewheeling experimental grunge-jazz infected rock, driven by dual guitars, tenor sax and drums. Half the time they are out on the edge, the other half finds them in cool funky grooves, strangely reminiscent of bands like Kraan, though most of the time this is a bit more laid back, with saxes leading the melodic assault. While no bassist is credited, there’s definitely a strong bass presence, possibly supplied by the lower registers of one of the guitarists, or maybe the credits have a typo (sure sounds like a real bass to this writer!). When things get chaotic one might be reminded of the improvisational moments of some Cutler and Frith projects of late, with guitars and saxes going off in every direction, and the drums attempting to tie it all together. The balance between the two extremes is good – one feeds the other, and in the end a stronger union of diverse elements exists, which should offer strong appeal for jazz minded and experimental travelers alike, but also the rock elements are strong enough to anchor it all to a driving beat. There’s a strong sense of humor too, as in “Noire”, which ties a twisted “My Sharona”-like riff to walking sax and guitar solos. Tracks like “Wild Joint” offer an almost psychedelic jazz character with an anarchic zeuhlish twist. This took a few plays to warm up to, but in the end there’s plenty to hold the listener’s interest. File under different.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 23, 1999 releases

Related artist(s): Rains

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