Elettrosmog began life in Verona in 2003 with a first line up featuring Michele Antonelli (vocals, guitar, flute), Francesco Delli Paoli (bass), Alessandro Pontone (guitar), Massimo Babbi (keyboards), Cristian Maselli (drums) and Alessandro Savelli (bouzuky, banjo, mandolin, acoustic guitar). They were clearly influenced by Italian prog bands of the early seventies such as Premiata Forneria Marconi, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Le Orme or Delirium (on their official website you could even find a short history of Rock Progressivo Italiano) but also by hard rock, jazz, blues, reggae and Italian canzone d'autore. After an interesting demo recorded in 2004, they started performing live on the local scene. Later, Alessandro Savelli left the band and in 2006 Elettrosmog self-released their first full length album, “Monologando”. According to the liner notes, it's a concept album dealing with the difficulties that human beings can experience when they have to communicate with each other in different situations. Well, probably the beautiful art cover by Andrea Sbrogiò describes the content of the album better than my words.
The opener “Trappole per topi” (Mousetraps) is a nice track full of obscure energy. The music and lyrics depict a man who's on the verge of folly, a dreamer who desperately search for a shelter from the daily grind. He's surrounded by people he can't understand and who show off a false serenity... “Enough is enough! My head is blowing up / I have to run away from here / A stereophonic madness completes my mania / It reverberates and swings for me...”.
The following “Economania” is a caustic track about the “New Economy”, where money rules and the marketing laws decide what you have to do. So, you have to stop thinking of social ideals, nothing matters but your ego... The new economy ethic becomes a silly and vain vicious circle where men act like marionettes stumbling on the threads of the Euro-autarchy, pushed by ambition and materialism.
“Fiore di carta” (Paper flower) is a melancholic, introspective track where the music and lyrics depict a man who gets lost in a labyrinth of madness and who's burning out like a paper flower, stranded and poisoned by a nightmarish solitude. Suicide or hypocrisy can't save his soul...
“Dialogo” (Dialogue) is a short acoustic, instrumental interlude that leads to the following “Quanto costa un litro di benzina?” (How much does a litre of gasoline?), an ironic track that blends reggae and Jethro Tull. The music and lyrics tell about a man obsessed by the ever growing cost of oil who decides to buy a bicycle and ride it feeling like Fausto Coppi.
“Non è così (Il mio regalo per te)” (It's not so – My present for you) is a complex track featuring many changes in mood and rhythm. It begins softly, the atmosphere is dark, melancholic then the rhythm rises and at some point Focus and Jethro Tull could come to mind. A man realizes that he's adopting ideas that he doesn't share just to get along with his sweetheart and he's getting tired to live as a hypocrite. The breaking up is traumatic, his last present might be mischievous and dishonest... Just his voice recorded on a tape: slow, magnetic words that will take him away forever.
The following “Monologo” (Monologue) is a short, delicate instrumental piano solo track that leads to “Compromesso storico” (Historic compromise), a powerful, complex track that draws in music and lyrics the portrait of a cynical politician who's good for every season, a demagogic media metastasis who knows how to use democracy in spite of ethics.
“Tu ti senti meno” (You feel less) is another track that describes the crises of a relationship in an effective way. A woman wants too much from his man, but she can't have everything and the game is over and there's no room left for words... The final track “Rootood” is a short instrumental where you can hear a telephone call and the recorded voice of an answering machine. A good conclusion for a very interesting album that in my opinion is really worth listening to.
After the recording sessions bassist Francesco Delli Paoli left the band and Paolo Iemmi stepped in. Unfortunately, the new line up didn't last for long and in 2007 Elettrosmog split up. Anyway, two years later a new band called Astrolabio came to life from Elettrosmog's ashes... But this is another story!