HEY! Get updates to this and the CD and 7" blogs via Twitter: @VinylUnderbite

19 July 2009

Arti e Mestieri - 'Quinto Stato' (Cramps)

Oh yes, now I remember why I keep Tilt in my accumulation -- because compared to Quinto Stato, it's a fucking masterpiece. Now I try to resist the prevailing prejudices of our time when listening to music. For example certain styles of music might be seen as "cheesy" right now that will probably be popular again in a few years. It's hard not to have your tastes dictated by your formative early years, and to fight against those tastes and see the true artistic value of something like, I dunno, David Sanborn records (which bear an uncanny resemblance to Quinto Stato, not in style but in effect). And I think I've already shown across the last 56 posts that I am quite forgiving of prog/fusion/whatever excesses. (Get used to it, cause we're going to encounter a lot more before we hit Z.) But try as I might, I just can't find anything redeeming about this album. I purchased it no doubt alongside Tilt, thinking I was scoring two awesome Italian prog records at once (when the reality is that I ended up with about 0.4 records worth of decency). This is a few years later, by which point the band has augmented themselves with one Rudy Passuello to sing on 3 songs, transforming the commercial tendencies of their jazz-fusion sound into full-blown pop-fusion. I made a promise that I would listen to the entirety of every LP in the accumulation for Dislocated Underbite Spinal Alphabetical Encourager Templates, and I have stuck to it. But this one was by far the most difficult to complete. Passuello's voice is nothing special, but it really hurts in the context of the rest of the band. On 'Vicolo' he's relegated to the bassoon, which is called 'fagotto' in Italian - I promised myself I wasn't going to point that out, but I couldn't resist. So what is redeeming about this LP? The photos! Whether it's supposed to be tongue-in-cheek or not, I can't tell, both the gatefold and inner sleeve are adorned with photos of the band looking tough, smoking joints, and best of all, taking a piss against the wall while flipping off the camera. The bird-flipper is wearing a studded leader vest in all the photos, adorned with a moustache, chains and rings and looking rather like an overweight Italian version of Lemmy. In one photo he's even lifted his shirt up to show us his beer belly. I'm hoping this is Mr. Passeullo himself, but the credits are ambiguous. The photos are amazing, particularly given how un-tough the music is, but it's not enough to save Quinto Stato from my "get rid of" pile. Offers are accepted via the comments feature, of course.

No comments:

Post a Comment