October 23, 2013

Massimo Volume: "Aspettando i Barbari".

There's something truly desperate in the way Emidio Clementi delivers the climactic vocal lines in "Dio dell zecche":

"la moda di esibirsi travestiti
da operai!"
"la moda di fumare!"

Crudely translated, it's some balderdash about transvestites and the hipness of smoking, in high poetic, stream-of-consciousness hipsterese, lending one little to work with in correlating the weight of the subject matter with the weight of its pained delivery; nevertheless, there is desperation enough in this statement to cause a mental double-take, and just enough seediness to conjure a burgeoning Bukowski to mind.

While we're on the subject of counter-culture (or whatever), we might just go ahead and get it out of the way now: another post-rock release from a band who's been doing things unaltered since the mid-90s? Yes, but they're Italian. It's instantly more obscure.

That kind of talk gets us nowhere.

This is another solid release from a seasoned act out of Bologna who can be credited with the honorary title "proto-post-rock", although they lean more towards post-hardcore most of the time. The formula is there: tone and timbre over melody, eerie walls of delay, and lots of pizzicato guitar; yet, Massimo Volume does it with undeniable greatness. I suppose what is most refreshing about this band is their genuine catharsis amidst a massive scene of genuine emulators, plain and simple.

The quartet's October 2013 release Aspettando i Barbari is gripping, from start to finish. Notables include the album's opener, "Dio dell zecche", "La cena", and the title track "Aspettando i barbari" as fairly grooving, understated anthems of sort, as well as "Vic Chesnutt" - a dark "tribute" to the recently deceased paraplegic, complete with slide and distortion-generated emergency sirens - and "La notte", a superbly-melodic piece of post-rock, leading into the meandering and superbly-ambient piece of post-rock that is "Silvia Campagni".

Have a listen with us on Spotify, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments section below!

✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✩✩  |  8/10

>>MASSIMO VOLUME - Aspettando i Barbari
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