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Gap Party (Italy) - 2004 - "Additivies"
TRACK LIST: 1. Walking on Alone 4:05 2. Wyllie's Ecstasies 4:06 3. My Colours 4:29 4. Afterwards 5:08 5. Today 5:46 6. Old Age 4:48 7. After the Meeting Call 5:29 8. Additives 2:23 Music & arrangements: Pierini (except 7: R. Ventura). Lyrics: Hepbourn. Engineering & producing: Federighi. LINE-UP: Alessandro Pierini - vocals; acoustic guitar; keyboards; cello Nic Hepbourn - electric guitar Fabio Federighi - double bass Emanuele Sodi - drums & percussion With: Fabian Florenzani - trombone Antonia Fraser - backing vocals &: A few additional musicians
Prolusion. GAP PARTY is a young Italian band led by multi-instrumentalist and composer Alessandro Pierini, and "Additives" is their second album. Their first full-length CD "Betwixt" was released in 2000.
Synopsis. The brief description of Gap Party in the CD press kits, running that their music is something average between the '70s' psychedelic Rock, Peter Hammill, and Radiohead, only partly corresponds to the actual state of affairs. All eight of the tracks are songs with English lyrics, and precisely half of them are musically quite different from the others. These are the first three: Walking on Alone, Wyllie's Ecstasies and My Colours, and also the last track, which has given the title to the album, all being performed mainly with traditional Rock instruments, and even the parts of a ubiquitous acoustic guitar exist here only in the form of rhythms. Each possesses some hypnotism, which, however, is hardly of a psychedelic nature. The music is a modern romantic Space Rock where the band's original ideas are rather successfully blended with those of the quieter songs from Porcupine Tree's "Signify". However, Gap Party's approach to the arrangement is a bit more straightforward and, indeed, is typical for Radiohead and the like performers of the so-called Alternative Progressive. Here, the vocals don't resemble anyone, unlike those on the rest of the material. Starting with the fourth track, the music becomes noticeably more diverse and, properly, progressive with the other instruments: violoncello, acoustic guitar, piano, and organ being at the foreground of the arrangements. Surprisingly, Afterwards, sub-titled as A Tribute to Van Der Graaf Generator, turned out to be more original then the following two songs: Today and All Age. The music on these is much in the same vein as Peter Hammill's "Fireships" or "X My Heart" both vocally and instrumentally. After the Meeting Call (7) is the most original composition on the album and is the absolute winner in general. The Hammond and violoncello are still at the helm, this time being joined by trombone, which resulted in a really efficient combination of Symphonic Art-Rock and Jazz-Fusion.
Conclusion. Overall, Gap Party's "Additives" is a promising debut and is an interesting album despite its stylistic inconsistence. Even though the band is at their progressive best when following Peter Hammill's legacy, I'd recommend them to keep the direction, which is preserved on the other tracks, and especially on the seventh. By avoiding any modified additives, Gap Party will be easily able to supply us with a pure ProGduction in the future.
VM: October 5, 2004
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