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Clepsydra - 2009 - "In Other Sunsets"

(62:44, MP Records)


****+
                 
TRACK LIST:                   

1.  Open Your Eyes 2:28
2.  Clouds 2:58
3.  Majestic 12 / Eyes Only 4:00
4.  Sometimes in July 5:17
5.  Exotica 10:01
6.  Albuquerque 6:04
7.  Tabasco at Sunrise 3:16
8.  Along the Cam Nothing More 3:09
9.  Acid Moon 6:03 
10. Dreamcatcher 2:10
11. Last Night on Vega 8:05
12. Lost in the Universe 9:13

LINEUP:

Fabio Di Gialluca  vocals; guitars
Luca Trifoni  vocals; bass; guitars
Danilo Ricci  drums; backing vocals

Prolusion. The Italian outfit CLEPSYDRA (not to be confused with the identical UK 70s act or the Swiss '90s band of the same name either) was founded in 2002. After honing their craft for some time and establishing a firm line-up they were signed by their native label MP Records, which issued their first effort in 2007. "In Other Sunsets" is their sophomore production and was issued in March 2009.

Analysis. This Italian band explores a stylistic blend I haven't encountered too many times previously. And while this particular effort has its fair share of weak aspects in my opinion, the good parts of this effort are both intriguing and charming. The guitar work is the main asset of this act, and first and foremost in the mellower tracks. Melodic, echoing guitar licks with distinct psychedelic tinges, of a type that makes me think of good old guitar stalwart Robin Trower, and in particular his ventures in the mid '70s. The band itself mentions Jimi Hendrix and Cream as influential artists, and the first few years of Clepsydra's existence consisted of playing covers from amongst others these late '60s greats. But no matter where they've been inspired to explore these subtle, hypnotic guitar textures they are good at it, often blending these gentler efforts with musical elements that sound rather similar to late '70s Pink Floyd at times. Clepsydra does produce some harder efforts too, partially distinctly blues-rock of the harder hitting variety, and partially venturing into 70s heavy art rock. I'd imagine that a track like Tabasco at Sunrise is a real charmer in a live setting, but on this production it comes across as too generic and negatively impacted by what I consider to be the main weakness of this band the lead vocals. Fabio Di Gialluca has a good voice in itself, which does fit the stylistic expressions explored on this disc. But his pronunciation tends to be somewhat slurry, and when a heavy Italian accent is an additional trait the end result does leave a bit to desired, at least for me. Thankfully, quite a few tracks on the CD feature extended instrumental passages, and these parts of the album are those most interesting as well. Dreamy, melodic affairs with guitar licks as previously described and at times stunningly beautiful soloing over the bass-driven foundation, some with Floydian touches while others sound like long lost relatives of Trower's "Bridge of Sighs".

Conclusion. While I would be hard-pressed to heartily recommend this album in general, I do surmise that those who appreciate the mid '70s efforts of Robin Trower form an audience that would find "In Other Sunsets" to be worthwhile checking out, especially if they like some Floydian spices to such ventures. However, those as particular to vocals as I am would be wise to approach this outing with some degree of caution.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: February 15, 2010
The Rating Room


Related Links:

Clepsydra
MP Records/a>


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