Acid Muffin 2016
Going deep down to live up to their debut’s title, trio from Rome blow cobwebs away.
A single, an EP and now an album: in the last five years, the Italian ensemble made an unhurried, yet steady progress on their way to the light. The listener shouldn’t be put off by the “Bloop” cover artwork, then, as the record doesn’t harbor fear. Yes, bluesy lead-in of “Down To You” opens the floodgates to the classic heavy metal squeal where Marco Pasqualucci’s finely layered guitars command an attack on ennui, with just the right amount of aggro smeared into the mix. But this approach saves tracks such as “Overload” from suburban sadness, especially when dynamics get expanded and Grabiel Alvarez’s supple bass and Andrea Latini’s sensual drums come to the fore on the likes of “Stain” to swing the mood towards exhilaration.
The assault may be dissolving in the folk-infused ballad “Movie” where the band’s delicate underbelly is bared for all to see before ragged riffs cut the slack, yet “Turning & Suffering” is rocking and rolling its pain in style, while “Wicked Woman” has romantic drama hidden under a hard, if transparent, veneer. The record is quite claustrophobic for the most part, but there’s a note of distant vista in “Exotic Song” to hint at the trio’s true potential, and “Mellifluous Desire” adds another dimension to it by boiling the band’s sound down to progressive lace, which is turned to chamber haze on “Smoking My Little Soul” as grand piano and one-man string quartet pour grandiosity into the highly spirited finale. Unchaining their soul would be the way to go for this group – and “Bloop” is a nice start for drifting upwards.