Rampant with a torrent of diverse flavours all uniting in one mighty slab of punk ‘n’ roll, Thirty Three is one of those proposals which out of the blue sets energies racing and thick pleasure flowing. The rousing success of the new encounter will probably be no surprise for fans of and those in the know about Italian band Acid Brains, a quartet previous full-lengths having earned the band a potent reputation in their homeland’s rock scene, but for the rest of us the album is an impressive introduction to a thrill we have all been missing out on.
Hailing from Lucca and formed in 1997, Acid Brains create a sound which merges alternative and punk rock with grunge and new wave, amongst many flavours, a mix brewed with devilish invention and thick imagination. 2004 saw debut album The End Of The Show released after a trio of demos before it; its well-received outing more than matched by its successor Far Away two years later and Do It Better in 2009. As the new proposition, fourth album Maybe was unveiled via Red Cat Records in 2012 to show more of the evolving enterprise and boldness in a sound now inflaming ears in Thirty Three.
Produced by Gherardo Monti and Acid Brains, Thirty Three comes in two parts; the first consisting of five tracks sung in English and the second with four songs sung in the band’s native tongue. Why the segregation of languages we cannot say but the parts are a CD equivalent to the side A and side B on a vinyl release or like on a double EP.
Band and album have attention and ears in the palms of their creative hands from the off, opener Make Up Your Mind laying down an initial lure of confrontational yet controlled bass and guitar before bursting into a fiery punk rock escapade with, whether intentional or not, a more than familiar relationship to The Damned’s Neat Neat Neat. The track proceeds to stop and flow with magnetic invention and aggressive ferocity throughout, creating a compelling proposal easy to get greedy over long the way, just like the following Halloween. The second track strolls in with its own slightly belligerent character, the bass of Antonio Amatulli devilishly prowling amongst the sonic tempting of guitarists Alfredo Bechelli and Stefano Giambastiani. The latter’s vocals equally engage with grouchy persuasion as the song explores a post punk/new wave fuelled slice of raw power pop, it already showing the strong variety within the album as it has the imagination bound and ears again aroused.
Sometimes steps up next, tantalising initially with a dirty flame of riffs before hitting a grunge/punk canter playing like a feisty mix of Nirvana, The St Pierre Snake Invasion, and Feud. Antagonistic but with an anthemic welcome rather than a nasty intent, the track stomps along recruiting body and appetite before On The Borderline takes over with its post punk laced, rhythmically gripping prowl. The resourceful beats of drummer Luca Bambini masterfully shape the track and entice instincts to which guitar and vocals offer their inventively bracing assets. With a spice of Gang Of Four meets Gruntruck to it, the track continues the impressive and increasingly gripping persuasion of the album, and the enjoyable wealth of diversity.
Adding a touch of glam rock swagger is Answers next, but equally a healthy scent of old school punk is the order of the day within the slimline and enjoyable canter before Tu throws some rhythmically tenacious garage rock into the album’s mix. A bracing stomp bouncing aggressively around with sonic colouring maybe best described as NOFX and The Pulsebeats in league with the punkier side of Les Négresses Vertes, it sets the second part of Thirty Three off in fine style to be quickly backed and surpassed by the outstanding nagging tempting of Mi Sorprendi. Riffs and rhythms provide a great worrisome yet addictive beckoning for the vocals of Giambastiani to stir things up in potent style within. Once more that post punk spicing add to the varied punk ‘n’ roll adventure of the track whilst hooks and the throaty tones from Amatulli’s strings only add to the inescapable captivation.
The final pair of songs ensures the album ends with as much variation and resourcefulness as it has perpetually offered already. All’infinito is first, a heavily enticing slice of drama with sinister electronics courting a grunge punk aggravation whilst closing song Solido has its own dark theatre through haunting keys within a rawer coaxing of guitar. Soon it raises its temperature and contagion with a glorious roar of a chorus that has listener participation involved with ease. Subsequently leading into another hungrily virulent blaze of rich grooves and deeply embedding hooks; that in turn the passage into an attitude loaded punk bellow of a blistering finale, it and its predecessor provides a thumping close to an increasingly persuasive and impressive album.
Acid Brains is rock ‘n’ roll to get excited and greedy over; something fresh to get lusty with through an album that flicks all the right switches.
Thirty Three is out now via Red Cat Records across most online stores.
Pete RingMaster 08/02/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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