Thursday, 4 June 2015

A STRANGE FRONTMAN

Feat.Esserelà began life in Bologna in 2009 on the initiative of Francesco Ciampolini (keyboards), Renato Minguzzi (guitar) and Lorenzo Muggia (drums), three friends in love with vintage sounds, progressive rock, jazz, fusion, funk and many more. According to their website, the name of the band refers to an old dummy lying in their rehearsal room that they used to call, quite unceremoniously, just quell'esserelà (that creature over there). As time passed by, they began to bring the old dummy on stage as a prop meant to add humour and colour to their live performances and they began to introduce it as their frontman. After years of fun, hard work and a good live activity on the local scene, in 2015 the band released an interesting debut album on the independent label Joe Frassino Records, distributed in collaboration with Lizard Records.


The album title, "Tuorl", and the art cover by Michele Tomasini recall a living yolk, a kind of nucleus of vital energy in fieri, but you don't have to take too seriously this concept. In fact, what prevails in this completely instrumental work is a strong fun-loving attitude that is also mirrored by the ironic, non sense titles of the eleven tracks and by the funny pictures and drawings that you can find in the booklet. The sparkling opener "Don't leave your dinosauri at home" sets the atmosphere with its frenzied rhythm and seventies influences, followed, in the same vein, by "Anche cotoletta" (Some cutlet as well), "Il nostro batterista ha un buco nella gamba" (Our drummer has hole in the leg) and "Canguros de la ventana" (Kangaroos at the window). In my opinion, these pieces could form a perfect score for an old Italian poliziottesco film full of car chases and breathtaking rides through the streets of Milan or Rome...


On "S.r.l.à" the rhythm calms down for a while, the atmosphere becomes darker, almost spacey, then the music takes off again towards new heights and horizons. The following "No ( )" is longer, more complex but never boring. In the booklet the band thank artists such as Dave Matthews Band, Stefano Bollani and Claude Debussy for the inspiration of these last two tracks but in my opinion the band's songwriting is brilliant and personal and I think that they fully succeeded in mixing different influences into a new, tasteful brew.


"/°\ \°/ /°\ \°/ /°\ \°/" starts with a weird funky rhythm, then evolves into something else through psychedelic rides and sudden changes of mood. The following "What a (tetra) pack" is lively and brisk and leads to the more complex "Un duettrè qqua" and "Stichituffelpa rampa esserelà tum perugià", two excellent tracks driving you through a colourful maze of sounds and colours. The funny live atmosphere of "Loop o' pool" and a short hidden track a cappella end this interesting album. If you like bands such as Calibro 35, La Batteria or Accordo dei Contrari, check it out!

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