This Naples, Italy-bred quartet initially started as a progressive-metal unit, then subsequently veered towards the headier scheme of rock. Toss in some Zappa-like time signatures, Yes-inspired melodic content and mainstream rock-induced inflections, and you have a group with a proclivity for contemporizing the tried and true.
Guitarist/vocalist Claudio Mirone serves as the primary songsmith on Contradiction, where traditional prog-rock ideologies march into the new millennium with a proverbial vengeance. Featuring knotty time navigations and textural guitar-keys elements, the music relies on the ensemble's limber mode of attack, coupled with a massive and rather authoritative sound. At times these players sound like a lean and mean, musical machine. But with intermittent injections of speed-metal riffs and lush melodies that sometimes elicit notions of Britain's '70s Canterbury scene, the musicians carve out a multihued portraiture. Though gutsy, complex and straightforward, they also engage in warped psychedelic humor, drenched in whirlwind ostinatos.
Mirone is a commanding vocalist, abetted by a multi-octave range. On "Suite: On The WingsUnsaid, his soaring vocals drive home a quirky yet appealing melody line, firmed up by catchy hooks, blaring choruses and surf guitar parts. In other areas the band unleashes a veritable aerial assault, consummating it all with an optimistic and thoroughly hip modus operandi. Recommended.
Track Listing: Agartha; Mental Hygiene; My Own Shelter; SPQA; Belly Botton; Suite: On The Wings--Unsaid; Bourgeois.
Personnel: Claudio Mirone: guitar, vocals; Marco Castaldo: drums; Giovanni Gregorio: keyboards; Aldo Ruggiero: bass.
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.