This Is Not America is an album which wraps hard rock, punk, and sleaze up into a pleasing ball of energetic rock n roll which easily captures the imagination, a release which knows what it is good at and presents those elements with a confidence and swagger which is quite magnetic. Released by Italian rockers The Unripes, the Street Symphonies Records released album has all you wish for in a rock album brought with style and accomplished craft.
Formed in 2005, the Modena based band made strong impressions locally early on and though The Unripes went through line-ups changes as a young band has continued to evolve into an impressive and accomplished band. The quartet of original members vocalist AxiA and guitarist Mike Pelillo alongside new members bassist Uncle Sappa (Midnite Sun and Sutuana), and drummer Sevens (a.k.a. Luke Setti of Trick Or Treat), have delivered a debut album which is bursting with hungry rhythms, assertive riffs, and infectious melodies and hooks which light up the ear.
Opener Track No. 1 is the immediate proof as it instantly engages on its appearance through an electronic breath and shadowed vocals which pull one into the following storm of energy and passion. Into its full stride the song is a thumping stomp of fiery riffs and vociferous vocals over firm beats from Sevens. Its chorus is as anthemic and catchy as you could ask for and the bass of Uncle Sappa a growling beast which is impossible not to be fully enamoured with. It is a straight forward song but like the album knows how to make the strongest persuasion and give a comprehensive pleasure.
Next up Reload is the biggest highlight on the album, an impossible to refuse contagious lure to voice and limbs to join its aggressive and energy driven feast of sound and passion. The lead track from the album which also was chosen as the official soundtrack to the 2012 main event of Italian wrestling company IWC, the song is a fiery charge of rampant riffs and sonic flames upon firmly jabbing rhythms and a real muscular treat to party with.
Arguably the strength of the song ensures that the following songs like Get On This Rollercoaster and You Are The One fail to reach its heady heights but to dismiss them or any song on the album would be irresponsible as all are potent and highly agreeable slabs of rock n roll. The first of this pair is a feast of sturdy riffs and raptorial basslines behind strong vocal harmonies and inspiring melodic craft whilst the second is a power ballad which shows an emotive depth and diversity to band and the fine vocals of AxiA. Again the cantankerous bass sound steals the show but every aspect of the song is highly satisfying.
Throughout the album there are loud whispers of bands such as Motley Crue, Steel Panther, Black Stone Cherry, Zakk Wylde, and more and if there is any real negative about the album it is a lack of a distinct and unique voice to the obvious creative craft and invention of the band, not that it makes the enjoyment of the album suffer. With further highlights coming with songs like the voracious My Muse Is Called Rock’n'Roll, the sinewy Damned Electric with its open heart and enterprise, and the irresistible Scream If You Wanna Go Faster, easily one of the favourites on the album, This Is Not America hits the right spot from start to finish.
The Italians are a band on the move and their debut album the perfect way to join their ascending rise. The release offers honest prime rock n roll for the masses courtesy of a band you will hear more of, The Unripes.
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