Exposé Online banner

Slivovitz — Liver
(Moonjune MJR, 2018, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2018-03-19

Liver Cover art

If you thought that Slivovitz’ two previous albums Bani Ahead (2011) and All You Can Eat (2016) couldn’t be topped, well, think again. LiveR showcases this Italian instrumental powerhouse in a live setting in Milan in May 2016 (with the exception of the final track “Caldo Bagno,” which was recorded in the same month two years earlier, but one wouldn’t know…) and the performance herein is nothing short of stunning, leaving the listener breathless and mind-blown. A unique lineup featuring an ace rhythm section (drummer Salvatore Rainone and bassist Vincenzo Lamagna), guitarist Marcello Giannini, violinist Riccardo Villari, and the reed and horn section featuring Pietro Santangelo (alto and tenor sax), Ciro Riccardo (trumpet), and last but certainly not least Derek Di Perri on harmonica. The opening track “Mai per Comando” is one I don’t recognize from any of the Moonjune studio albums (maybe it's from that impossible-to-find first album), but it introduces the band’s considerable powers; it’s funky, it swings, it rocks hard, it’s gritty, and builds to an aggressive climax over its near six-minute duration, featuring some great harmonica and sax soloing that pushes all the limits. “Cleopatra Through” from Bani Ahead opens with some hard-rocking fun, then gets quiet for an amazing violin solo first, then as the band comes back each of the soloists get their turn in the spotlight, and then amazingly everyone seems to be soloing at once before it all goes back to where it started. “Mani in Faccia” was one of the most memorable tunes on All You Can Eat, but here in the live setting it’s ratcheted up a few notches and stretched out a few minutes longer, giving every player a chance to shine in the spotlight. A cover of the song “Negative Creep” from the first Nirvana album is included, a punchy and angular metal rocker arranged for horn section that is perhaps the heaviest thing in their set – one of those pieces that makes you wish you had been there to witness it. The closing track on the CD (not on the LP version) is the 2014 performance of “Caldo Bagno” from Hubris, a complex tapestry of mayhem and beauty featuring some mighty impressive guitar soloing. From the first song to the last, LiveR smokes hard, and indeed, after listening to this, you’ll need a cigarette!


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Slivovitz

Latest news

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Panzerballett - Panzerballett – In my mind I picture the dancing of tanks — the cover art helps. But the only dance I can imagine is a slow, clumsy, brutish affair, most unlike the quick, dextrous, sophisticated music I hear....  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues