CD Banjo or Freakout [718122318759] (CD 7022145),
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Banjo or Freakout [718122318759]


  • 1. 105
    2. Go Ahead
    3. Can't Be Mad for Nothing
    4. Move Out
    5. Idiot Rain
    6. Fully Enjoy
    7. From Everyone Above
    8. Black Scratches
    9. Dear Me
    10. I Don't Want to Start All Over Again
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 7

  • Credits
    ProducerAlessio Natalizia; Nicolas Vernhes
    EngineerNicolas Vernhes

    Personnel: Alessio Natalizia.
    Audio Mixer: Nicholas Vernhes.
    Recording information: Rare Book Room Studio, Brooklyn, NY.
    Photographer: Robin Sinha.
    Naming your band in a way that reflects the musical content can be a pretty good idea, letting people know where they stand before they listen. 3 Inches of Blood is a good example, the Softies is another. Banjo or Freakout is not a good example of a representative name. Firstly, there is no banjo to be heard anywhere on their self-titled debut album. Secondly, there's not even a hint of freakout. Alessio Natalizia probably should have named his band Quietly Pretty Ballads or Calmly Drifting Soundscapes if he wanted to be honest, since most of the songs on the record have a little of each of those elements in their makeup. Natalizia at heart is a bedroom balladeer, playing sweet and intimate songs that have an Elliott Smith feel, though less broken and more hopeful sounding. On top of these heartfelt laments, he and producer Nicholas Vernhes add layers of reverb, hazy clouds of sound, and good, old-fashioned, Eno-esque atmosphere. Sometimes, like on the album opener "105," the girl group-inspired "Move Out," or the heavily distorted, achingly pretty alt-rock ballad "Black Scratches," his approach pays off with large dividends, giving the songs a coating of mystery and Natalizia's breathy wisp of a voice lots of sound to bounce around in. The one time that Natalizia sneaks up on freaking out, on the guitar-heavy and hypnotic Spiritualized-sounding rocker "Dear Me," he shows much aptitude for the style and it makes you wish he had done it more often. Throughout the record, Natalizia's sonic inventiveness and the strength of his songwriting carry the day. He definitely deserves credit for going beyond the usual sounds you might hear on a modern singer/songwriter album, and it works often enough to make the record a treat for anyone who wants something confessional and real but not boring. ~ Tim Sendra

  • Critic Reviews
    Clash (magazine) - "'Move Out' is a foggy, distorted epic, while the nursery rhyme of 'Idiot Rain' unravels its treasures in languorous style. An effortless meshing of beauty and power."
0 Stars 0 average rating
  • Genre: Rock
  • Label: Rare Book Room 7
  • Distributor: CTD
  • Analog/Digital: n/a
  • Mono/Stereo: Stereo
  • Studio/Live: Studio
  • Released: 3/8/2011
  • UPC: 718122318759
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