A certain feeling of eager anticipation overcame me, even before playing a single note of this cd, such reasoning behind this enthusiasm being the combination of a) The stunning homemade lavishly styled artwork so reminiscent of times gone by of when psychedelic / progressive rock albums were adorned with the most beautiful and intricate of covers. b) The wondrously stupid band name of “Monkey Diet” so ridiculous it draws you in for further inspection c) The pedigree of Italian bands and their propensity for producing thoughtful melodic psychedelic /progressive music, which over the past forty years has been so well tried and tested receiving much critical acclaim and in this case under auspices of the “Black Widow” label which has been paramount in maintaining this trend.
So how close did I think this unknown band meet such expectations of mine:-
Well, in the first instance, the colourful three part CD artwork is simply quite beautiful, a joy to behold and a treat for the eyes. I suppose you could say it looks a little bit on the homemade side but never-the-less it is wonderfully colourful and a quite informative.
The name “Monkey Diet”, as far as I could detect (I could be wrong here), is totally meaningless but thinking about so many other great bands with ridiculous names, Spoks Beard for example, it hardly matters because at least it is somewhat different and quite catchy in a funny kind of way.
The music too didn’t disappoint and it has to be said that none of the tracks are, in anyway, first time listening. It was only after about the third play that the music started to piece together in my mind and make any kind of sense. Whilst the lead guitar erupts endlessly with fiery staccato chord sequences, finite riffs, trills and heavy bursts, the bass guitar all the while engages in a series of beautifully melodic jazz structured runs but these are carried out strangely to the fore and hardly ever in the shadow of the lead guitar. In fact I would conclude that the bass guitar is employed in this band rather more as a second lead instrument. As the various tracks expand into full flow both the lead and bass guitars complement each other as they weave their intricate musical patterns together supported with some wonderful percussive time keeping from the drum department. The term Psychedelic Rock, seemingly quite rare these days, certainly applies in this case and snippets of the UK Band “The Bevis Frond “ comes to mind in terms of both style and delivery although of course without any vocals.
Summary: A fascinating, well-constructed album which requires several plays to get fully into and then on subsequent plays you continue to discover many facets of hidden musical delight to keep you coming back for more.
Artwork: Glorious in every respect, beautifully put together and well, it’s just very cool.
The Endless Day of Robby The Ant.
Sorry Son…(I’ve Lost Your car).
Gabriele Martelli: Guitars
Daniele Piccinini: Bass
Roberto Bernardi: Drums