Taking off on a tangent, Italian prog-rock troupe tie acoustic tropes into arresting tapestry.
By looking closely at this album’s cover, you’ll be able to see the picture’s texture which, bearing the image of an intrepid adventurer, conveys the very gist of the record – or, perhaps, the entire project behind it – whose title must suggest veering off into the great unknown and straining the link to reality. “Pindaric Flights” is a loosely concept work that may wear its “Ummagumma”-esque influences on the platter’s sleeve, yet Marco Pantozzi’s reveries find their way to the listener’s heart thanks to his songs’ underlying unplugged sonics and, thus, gripping dynamics, rather than plentiful fantasies offered on the ensemble’s debut. There’s not a lot of philosophy in there, but simple truths bring forth the trills nevertheless.
While overt emotionality, so typical for Apennine art-rock, will surface in the album’s finale, “E immagino se” – preceded by the captivating piano passages of “Free” – where Pantozzi’s intimate singing gradually becomes solemn only to get compromised once slow funk and female vocals propose a jovial digression, Joe Chiericati’s anthemic ivories infuse melody-shifting openers “Lifetime” and “I Do It My Way” with welcoming warmth that Stefano Nicli’s soaring guitar takes to marvelous heights before nervousness and urgency slowly set into the drift. However, if a mama-calling intro to “One More Time” evokes certain Roger Waters and Freddie Mercury lines, the ensuing disco glide should remove the initial gloom in favor of scintillating riffs which propel “Rock-Star (Meteorite)” to the edge of bliss, towards the effervescent prog-pop of “New Bad Day” and the folksy, serene-to-anxious, transparency of the titular epic.
Still, when the throbbing “A New World” unveil drier emotions, the groove is lighter, feeding the tune of “Timeline” with a glamorous irresistibility, and “Distant Lover” with refined instrumental textures, but “Close Your Eyes” effectively brings this dewy-eyed trip to a close. Self-contained and promising, it’s as alluring a beginning as it can be.