Italy has its fair share of rock/metal artists. They do have a grunge scene and their most notable artist is Verdena
. Lambstoneâs website and any tangible background reports are presented in the Italian language. The information emphasizes their recent concert dates, which were performed in Italian nightclubs, within the past two years. They began in twenty thirteen and took four years to release this debut album. Their label is Vrec (Verona Records Global), which is based in Italy. My record store couldnât special order it, but iTunes sells the downloads for six dollars. Which is very inexpensive for a thirty nine minute, twelve track release. The album art depicts a gypsy, who is reading a crystal ball, but the bandâs logo appears on that medium. Each song on the play list is entitled with just one word. As was fashionable in the early nineties, with bands like The Stone Temple Pilots
and Pearl Jam
. Some of the song titles are Kingdom, Jesus and Grace. Their name is Lambstone, so I wonder if they are a Christian oriented group.
The opening song, Sun, commences with a gentle, yet heavy structure. Then the guitarists soon blaze out high notes, like rays of sunshine, with heavy bass lines and shuffling drum beats. About halfway in, the intensity slows down, with gentle guitar strumming and shoe gaze accentuations. The vocals are sung with humble and slightly melancholic utterances, similar to Live. The music soon moves into an overly dramatic texture for a minute and then the bassist hits strong power chords, along with cheesy anthem styled singing. Vocalist Astro bestows a commanding presence, with a husky voice and an unassuming personality. His deliveries are very emotional and heartfelt, with an air of charisma. He has a strong set of lungs and juggles various tones with his throat, for a prolonged time.
Lambstone features two guitarists, with the Ancona brothers in the lineup. The guitars are often played with intricate high note picking and strumming, arranged with aesthetic successions. Occasionally they exhibit groovy harmonization. In some songs the guitars are played with subtle mid range chords, to give the bass music a chance to stand out. The third track, Queen, flows with a light and mysterious ambience. The lyrics are sung with a peaceful, yet sober mode of expression. The guitar music is lightly picked with comforting melodies. Then the instrumentation slowly erupts with power chords and charismatic singing. âYou were not the answer.â âYou were not a waste of my precious time.â Towards the end, the bass rhythms chop forth, accompanied by flowery guitar melodies.
The sixth number, Jesus, begins with a curious guitar melody and softly spoken lines. The melody becomes harder and faster, as the singing evolves into a more dramatic intensity. âJesus is the killer, disappearing in the night.â âJesus is the violence beating harder at your life.â Towards the end, the instruments merge together in a catchy melody, with the contribution of some synthesizer music. The bass music often acts as a springboard, to give the guitar music more leverage. In the heavier stretches, he contributes a deeper foundation to the profundity of the musical schemes. During the lighter songs, he gently plucks out the rhythms in a suitable cadence.
The drummer plays a casual tapping role during the mellower moments, with some light cymbal rattles. As the music becomes more animated, so do the drum beats, with stuttering shuffle patterns and some modest snare drum outbursts. He does a pretty good job and plays like a jazz drummer. The eighth song, Violet, starts with a gently picked guitar melody and modest bass plucking. Which is played at a brisk tempo and the bass drum soon kicks in. The lyrics are sung with a theatrical quality. âViolet, I know you want me.â âYou gotta put down that blade.â Powerful bass chords impose their way in and it becomes a heavy affair, with the interludes of awkward guitar licks. The drums are pounded along conservatively. âViolet, youâre going to kill me.â âPlease say a prayer for me.â
Although some of the song titles suggest Christianity, the lyrics deviate from that notion. The lyrics concern human relationships, the vicissitudes of emotions and questions a couple of prominent religions. The vocalist is very talented, with a strong and charismatic personality. They could have done more with the two guitarists, but they share the spotlight with the bassist. The drummer does a pretty good job of mixing up the beat tones. The music isnât very slow or fast, it remains at medium tempo. A few of the textures are as melodramatic as Live. But a lot of the textures seem to be modeled after Creed
. Some of the tracks are emotional grunge ballads, but they arenât as slow or long as the ones from Creed
. There are some beautiful compositions that impart a feeling of reassurance and a measure of cordial welcome. But some of these songs arenât overly exciting. All in all this is one of those âfeel goodâ albums and there are a couple of sweet gems to put on a contemporary grunge playlist.