DARIO AND THE CLEAR – Banquet Of Noise

Dario Saraceno 2024

Transatlantic artist throws his third rock towards the sun to find a higher ground for further flight.

Banquet Of Noise

Ever since bursting onto the scene with “Optic Nerve” back in 2021, Dario Saraceno has perceived his music as progressive rock which, for many, dissolved the dance appeal of what the singing guitarist carried on pursuing on 2022’s “Reflective Touch” only to feel the need for another album that would become a finale of the NY-based player’s debut trilogy. Yet if the previous entries in Dario’s discography saw him lead a trio of kindred spirits, this time Saraceno expanded his creative frontiers by bringing in fellow axemen who, in turn, bring out the best of their host by giving “Banquet Of Noise” a joyfully competitive edge. The abundant grooves don’t render the resulting pieces any less serious, though, but it somehow helps the performers to readjust focus from prowess of delivery to melodic, and lyrical, aspects of the eight songs on offer. Yes, songs – sophisticated, if memorable and even arresting when certain references are thrown around.

And those are generously scattered across “Recall” that finds Dario ride a techno train and bounce his riffs and titles of Bowie’s classics off the mirror ball hung over the hot engine stoked with Saraceno’s own Chapman Stick and sax courtesy of Eric Person, while the blustery “Self Disclosure” marries confession to swagger and spears infectious refrains with six-string slivers which robust bass figures bolster rather elegantly. Quite a way to prepare the listener for “Love Has Won” where Natasha Coward’s vocals join the main man’s voice for a soul-stirring anthem and Trey Gunn’s Warr licks spice up its swirl before “Angels Crying” goes for the jugular – from a gentle ballad Tony DePaolo’s flamenco passages lace so tastily to gutsy, gusty sonic assault, and to the calm after the storm leading to the piano-laden “Convicting Silence” that transforms a delicate serenade into an increasingly deranged tribal chant.

So once “Star-Crossed Lovers” streams cosmic worry for the duo of Dario and Sue Leonard who caress one’s psyche and takes a celestial flight until Jason Blake’s Warr moves complement Saraceno’s belligerent filigree on “Gatto Contro Topo” to a cinematic, dynamic-cum-romantic effect, there’s free fall on display that the titular finale, on which Gabriel Marin’s fretboards are being polished, pushes to the point of no return to signal the end of the line. And to mark the tentative start of a new adventure, a trip promising fresh pleasures.

May 25, 2024

Category(s): Reviews
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