Music Reviews



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Artist: Having Thin Moonshine (@)
Title: Having Thin Moonshine
Format: CD
Label: Ark Records (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
When I listened to some excerpts of their previous demos, I wondered why any label didn't make any proposal to this gothic/folk Italian band from Venice before and we're almost sure that the small independent Italian label Ark '“ which already got engaged with renowned gothic bands such as Ataraxia, Violet Tears, Corde Oblique and Argine '“ has decided to bet on their skill and and their interesting musical formula and arguably planned great things after feeling the same surprise. If you consider that there are not so many innovative projects and band from the gothic slops, we can reasonably suppose that those blood-tinged pale hands printed on the cover artwork of this "serious" debut album by Having Thin Moonshine are going to draw whirling mantras and disentangling imaginary ropes in the darkness under favorable winds. One of the "secret recipe" of their music formula could be singled out in the indisputable reciprocal understanding and "synchronicity" between the guitarist Pietro Baldan and the bassist Dario Belardinelli, well supported by the drummer Jacopo Campi.

Another one could be easily recognized in the genuine essentiality of their sound, which seems to avoid any kind of bombastic frills, giving a remarkable role to the voice of the skilled vocalist (and songwriter... ) Ally: she gives a lot of bodies of evidence of their ability in interpreting emotional lyrics, even if maybe we have to admit that her voice is still too much unripe and seductive for certain forms of provocative sung poetry... even if she's really good in singing some ravishing lyrics (it seems she got possessed by an undefined devil when interpreting Salomè '“ a song inspired by the notorious literary character, finely depicted by Oscar Wilde '“ , the nice Point Of View or Giblets Of Sorrow, we couldn't say she �s already comparable to renowned female singers such as Patti Smith or Allison Shaw... but we could reasonably expect she's going to improve and extend her vocal "drama" skills little by little! She has also shown her convincing personality as a musician as well, even when she interprets Jingle (just a sort of funny divertssment in order to relieve the heavy and sometimes obsessive atmospheres of a gothic record... ). This debut album is so persuading and well-crafted that we cannot do anything but wishing them a luminous musical pattern even outside the sometimes stingy Italian boundaries! Good luck, folks!
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Artist: Dead Guitars (@)
Title: Flags
Format: CD
Label: Echozone (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
One of most relevant surprise carried by a gust whirling from the evergreen alternative grounds is without any doubt the one by these waving Flags, proudly waven by Dead Guitars, a collaborative project whose bandilleros have already walked over the decuman gates of the walls surrounding those fields: almost 7 years have elapsed since Pete Brough, one of the founder of German band Twelve Drummers Drumming , and Ralf Aussem, the man behind the curtain of the successful band Sun, decided to share their musical experiences and knowledge with vocalist Carlo van Putten (from The Convent), giving birth to Dead Guitars (sorry for the pun!), which signed the highly appreciated Airplanes, an album which let them gain the prominent role as a support band for the widespread European tour of The Mission, with whom Dead Guitars began a prolific collaboration as three members of The Mission have collaborated and performed on DG's new album, Wayne Hussey in Isolation (one of the most catchy track of the whole album as well as a potential reply to Fool's Garden's rejection of isolation!), Mark Gemini Thwaite in the lovely and heartbreaking freedom chant Pristine and Richie Vernon on the melancholic Blue (whose recognizable electronic drums are going to be replaced by real drums on live stage... ) . The way this skilled foundation develops sound is really impressive and their renowned creative wit seems to strike an attitude if compared to Airplanes: guitar arrangements are maniacally cared while drums and the evocative vocals by Carlo van Putten and his astonishing jauntiness are sometimes the elements making the real difference. It's almost impossible to tell which track is better than others. They shows an unbelievable skill in diversifying their masks passing from up to mid-tempo, showing a terrificly unconstrained style, covering a range of emotional setting whose wideness a psychologist could diagnose just on the most serious case of cyclothymia ranging from the rage of Pristine and Miss America, the romanthicism-tinged On A Trip To Elsewhere, moody pieces like Lazy Moon (with an amazing distorted piano tones and a sort of weeping motif...), Silver Cross River (my personally favorite one... I was almost totally ravished and absorbed by this entrancing track...) and Raise Your Flags, the purity of style of the wise Slowdown and the heavenly choral Watercolours featuring the wonderful voices of a group of Dutch students attending G2a... You should listen to this album as a sort of spiritual experience to better appreciate it...

Immediate, emotional, powerfully melancholic... Maybe one of the most balanced mix of gothic, wave, progressive and melancholic moods we've heard among recent releases... Dead Guitars will surely play the chords of your soul. It's a must-have if you love to refresh your ears with cool breeze of psychedelically epic stuff! I definitively hope to see them perform somewhere!