Psych Up Melodies 2013
Saved from the grip of oblivion, the Neapolitan band’s legacy flows against the tide of time.
It takes some background knowledge to fully appreciate this obscure album from a band whose 10-year tenure in existence brought forth no release so they called it a day in 2005. But interest in certain prog quarters lingered on, which resulted in the posthumous uncovering of six 1998 recordings that hint at CONTROTEMPO’s outstanding potential. Even though it’s fully based on the classic GENESIS blueprint, the group’s origin is obvious throughout, at the same time gloriously puzzling due to Francesco Vitiello’s Naples way with words that sound rather non-Italian – less sweet and more adventurous.
Well, “Vieno vene” is all about dolce vita, yet there’s enchanting pop soulness to the glossy roll of “Guerra” with its synthesizer layers and acoustic lining. Its tension, stoked with instrumental prowess, grows to irresistible proportions, especially when Vitiello’s guitar takes wings and heads eastwards as it does in “Gente”, rescued from overt theatricality by the inventive rhythm section of Luigi Scialdone and Gianluca Canitano. They go for a dance in the accordion-wrapped folksy “Jesce o sole”, while elsewhere two keyboard players, Davide Smiraglia and Francesco Basso who overlay Moog with a piano, add another dimension to otherwise insipid “Tiempo”. But it’s the epic “Nun dicere niente” that binds together all the strains and reveals band’s bid for greatness. Time to return and get it.