Old Rock City Orchestra began life in 2009 in Orvieto on the initiative of Cinzia Catalucci (vocals, keyboards) and Raffaele Spanetta (guitars). After some musical experiences in other bands they focused their attention on the composition of original songs inspired by progressive and psychedelic rock bands from the late sixties and early seventies. Later the line up was completed by Giacomo Cocchiara (bass) and Michele “Mike” Capriolo (drums) and, after a good live activity and a first demo recorded in 2010, in 2012 Old Rock City Orchestra released their first full-length album, “Once Upon A Time”, on the independent label M.P. & Records. The overall sound of the band draws abundantly on the influences of the past and Jefferson Airplane or Affinity come to mind but the enthusiasm of the musicians involved in this project is great and the result is a fresh album of timeless songs that in my opinion is worth listening to. Well, if you like Italian bands such as Circus 2000 or Wicked Minds have a try!
|Old Rock City Orchestra|
The opener “Stand Up” is a lively track where the beautiful voice of Cinzia Catalucci invites you to leave behind “bad guitars” and voices of out tune in the name of good music... “Stand up! / I'm the queen of your life / Stand up! I compel you, stand up!...”. The following “Another Flower” is a kind of dreamy walk through the “gardens of hope” where a new born flower blossoms. This track is enriched by the sound of the electric violin of the guest Laurence Cocchiara.
On “Black Hand In The Sky” the rhythm rises again. A dark cloud appears in a starry night and covers the light. It's just moment, the the wind sweeps away the black hand of darkness and the light shines again. Well, this track recalls Jefferson Airplane while the lyrics make my think of a short story by the Italian writer Dino Buzzati, “La fine del mondo”. The energetic “UFO” is in the same vein and conjures up the apocalyptic vision of a threatening starship, an iron ball coming from Mars.
“This Is The Last Day” is a heartfelt blues with a slow pace celebrating the last day of a woman with her lover. The sudden surge of energy of the middle section and the finale gives you the chance to imagine what can happen between the two lovers. Next comes “Once Upon A Time Rock'n'Roll”, a joyful tribute to the story of r&b... “I remember Molly and Lucille / Jerry, Chuck Berry and The King / Listen to them and you'll loose control...”.
“I Want To Keep On Dancing” is another good track about the magic power a music that can make you fly high. On the following “Tonight With You” Raffaele Spanetta takes charge of the lead vocals for a night ride under the rain on the swirling flute notes provided by the guest Chiara Dragoni. The sweet, dreamy ballad “Swan Of The Lake” features a string trio and concludes the album. Well, I think that this band has a good potential although in their song-writing at times they showcase a too derivative approach. I hope that in the future they will dare a bit more looking for a more original style. I'm looking forward to their next album!