This past twelve months has seen Italy spawn some strong and enjoyable music with a heart inspired by blues and country rock sounds from the US. Earlier this year Ricky Ferranti & The Rusty Miles released an album which pleased the ear whilst the tail of last year saw equally impressive releases from Smokey Fingers and Blueville. Now we have the debut EP Roadsigns from Rusted Pearls and The Fancy Free, a quartet from Udine. Containing six blues soaked slices of heartfelt melodic rock, the release is a soulful embrace which has the quality to delight most palates.
The band consists of Dario Snidaro (guitar, vocals), Andrea Mauro (guitar, slide guitar), Maximum Mattiussi (drums), and Mark Fabro (bass), its seeds starting with the solo acoustic work of Snidaro in his 2010 release 2 Words, Travel Alone. The sound of the band has evolved into a dusty blend of Rolling Stones like blues, Black Crowes and Smokey Fingers flavoured country rock, and the hard rock breath of Tom Petty. It is a mix which is honest and open whilst inviting a similar response from its audience. The music is not groundbreaking or opening up new avenues to explore but offers nothing less than its full heart to satisfy and please.
The release brings a nice blend of energies across its tracks from the eager and lively Free to the slower reflective Chilly Girl. The first of this pair strokes the ear with heated guitar play and firm rhythms whilst in the back ground keys whisper with emotive charm. It is the guitar though which steals the show especially the sizzling solo at the centre of the song. The vocals of Snidaro are expressive and earnest, you feel his emotion hanging from every word through his lips, to enhance the emotive atmosphere the music creates. The second of the two is a gentle and tender caress with again its heart on its sleeve. The guitars come with a blues kiss for the ear whilst the bass is as deep and emotive as the words sung. The two tracks show the variety of the release whilst still slipping easily within the covering intent of sound.
Roadsigns and White Lines is a heated piece of rock which stirs up the senses from its striking start, a road driven song with electric tread marks across the ear in its rear mirror. It has an infectious air which scorches the senses, its energy restrained though it seems to want to press on into a fury of sound.
The release closes with Precious, another tender embrace for the ear which is all passion and soul but before its arrival the two best songs on show excite first. Home is a steely piece of rock music which has an edgy surface to its instinctive call to the heart. Musically the song borders aggression whilst within its muscular presence the lyrics and vocals are exuding deep emotion for a blend of slight extremes. The other track Rusted Pearls is a gritty piece of expression with riled energies and unleashed passion. It is a song which evokes a deeper reaction to its stirring tones and harsh blues energies than to other tracks and lingers around long after its official departure.
The Roadsigns EP is a release which is not trying to be anything more than a pleasing and engaging collection of songs steeped in the pure oils of American rock, blues and country. It and The Rusted Pearls & Fancy Free achieve that aim with ease.
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