If like us the name Cris Pinzauti is a mystery then we suggest you change that as soon as possible by checking out his debut solo album Black. Consisting of eight songs which all captivate ears and attention, and at times explodes into one of the most thrilling and essential acoustic rock propositions you are likely to find anywhere, the release just leaves you wanting more. It is not an encounter which always hit the sweet spot of personal tastes but when it did boy the pleasure was thick and irresistible and at those other times satisfaction was still a done deal.
The background to Pinzauti sees him born in in Florence, Italy in 1971 and from a young age writing songs before self-teaching himself the guitar at 16. From here on, Pinzauti was part of numerous musical projects, creative collaborations, and played thousands of concerts throughout Italy and Europe, many with SUZY Q the band he and his brother Marzio founded and hard rock band Devil’s Mojito over recent times. Equally as a solo artist Pinzauti has strapped on his guitar and clicked on his loop station to light up audiences for over a decade in local venues with his creative style of acoustic rock. Now Black is poised to take the singer songwriter’s sounds to broader spotlights and appetites. Recorded exclusively with acoustic guitars, acoustic bass, and additional acoustic guitars used in percussion mode, and with guest appearances on certain tracks from Marco Di Maggio (Di Maggio Connection), Jack Meille (Tygers Of Pan Tang), Francesco Bottai (Articolo 31 and Irene Grandi Band), and brother Marzio, the album is a wake-up call for us all still unaware of this captivating talent.
Themed by “the BLACK or dark side of our lives, that which society labels as “dark”, but in reality is not” and contemplating the shadows behind forbidden love, sex, loneliness, soul searching, cynicism, inner demons, and rock and roll, the album opens with The Devil in the Closet. A breaking storm heralds in the song and its narrative, a stranger walking into a vaudeville bar room springing from an imagination sparked into action by the encounter before the potent tones of Pinzauti unveil more of the expressive scene in the company of his creative fingers on guitar strings. There is a mix of delivery styles to his voice; his offering equally a theatre of characters in the brief but intriguing folk bred opener.
It is a magnetic start but not as potent as the excellent My Black Is Back which follows. The song is instantly popping with melodies against vivacious beats, the infectious coaxing soon enhanced by a gentle strum of guitar. Again Pinzauti mixes up his tones, a gruff offering turning into a much stronger and compelling clean delivery which as the elevated melodies which hug it, gives the song a new energy and pungent contagion. The string plucks equally add a fascinating fun and creativity to the outstanding encounter to match that of the adventurous vocals, which once more never settle with one line of persuasion and only add weight to the enthralling temptation.
The country lined folk croon of Wasted Years comes next and has ears and thoughts hooked with its warm melodies and reflective vocals. The song does not give expectations a hard time but has enjoyment full before the brilliant Down brings its own transfixing beauty to bear on the senses. The resonating bassline is an instant hook whilst the guitars almost flirt as they sculpt a weave of melodic enterprise. Vocally too, and as now expected, Pinzauti only impresses as he increases the infectious tenacity and persuasion of the song’s gentle yet lively stroll.
The Vampire’s Lullaby is one of those moments which still has yet to fully convince. It is again a drama, a music play for today in some ways set in two parts. Let Me In is a spellbinding instrumental narrative, the fingers of Pinzauti bewitching across the strings of his guitar as he sculpts an imagination firing suggestiveness of a gothic tale. The storm of the first track again cracks and shares its intensity as Hush comes in and Pinzauti finds his dustiest Tom Waits like tones to bleed into the dreams of the song’s recipient. The track is a skilled and fascinating offering but one which misses sparking the same reaction as other tracks despite the exceptional vintage wine like melodies he pours across the song. Primarily it is the raw vocals which do not quite do it for us, just a personal thing and for others will work a treat, just like the rest of the compelling track.
The blues flavouring of Forever Yin Forever Yang is a vibrant collusion with a funkier endeavour sure to bring the listener to their feet whilst Hellbound Train explores that country breeding again with a southern rock balladry. Both tracks are short and potent temptations continuing the impressive nature of the album, but soon surpassed by Zombie Attack. The closer is easily the pinnacle of Black, its initial sandy croon the lead into virulent revelry blending melodic rock and pop into one quite sensational triumph. Addictive and ridiculously infectious yet intricately sculpted without taking any short cuts in seducing the listener, the song slips under the skin and into the psyche with sublime craft. Experience also knows that once infected the song never goes away, not that you will wish it to of course.
Black does not quite steal the passions for the whole of its body for us yet there is never a moment you wish to pass over and when it hits its heights, Cris Pinzauti simply has us in the palms of his creative hands. The bottom-line is that this is a must check out rock ‘n’ roll album and as the last line of Zombie Attack says “If Rock is dead, we are a Zombie Attack!” and that about sums up the attitude of this album and rock ‘n’ roll period.
Black is available now via Red Cat Records @ http://www.redcatpromotion.com/ita_store.html
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