Specchio 2. Il Ritorno Specchio - Jumbo (14) - Vietato Ai Minori Di 18 Anni? Signor K 4. Via Larga 5. Gil 6. The album starts with "Specchio". Right away you hear Alvaro Fella's voice, which is quite a bit shocking because he has one of the most harsh voices in Italian prog I've heard. Just needs getting a little used to. Then there's the intense horn-driven part of the song. After that, it mellows out, with some quasi-honky tonk piano and acoustic guitar.
I like how this pieces speeds up because of slowing down the tape while recording. It's a rather unstructured piece, with Franco Battiato who had quite a distinguished solo career in both Italian pop and experimental electronic guesting on Specchio - Jumbo (14) - Vietato Ai Minori Di 18 Anni? synthesizer. The music circles around synthesizer, acoustic guitar, Fella's voice, percussion, and Mellotron.
Plenty of Mellotron is used on this part as well, I just love that atmosphere. The last piece, "No! The lyrics, since they're in Italian are supposed to cover things like politics in a left-wing manneralcoholism, sex, and taboo subjects, but since I can't understand Italian, I can't be sure what the lyrics speak of.
Since I own the original LP, it comes with a gatefold, a textured cover, and lyrics on the inner sleeve. Original LPs don't exactly grow on trees and their previous two albums seem even harder to find on LP. Anyway, if you can get used to Alvaro Fella's voice, you're in for some great Italian prog, which I consider essential.
Check it out! I'm very happy that, finally, I've found this great and underrated album in the new Japanese elegant papersleeve remaster reissue! Vietato ai Minori di 18 Anni? Forbidden to Minors of 18 Years? It closes the short but intense career of this band who released three albums in only 24 months.
Very good album, with lots of ideas and made with the help of Franco Battiato. The reason of such an album's title like that depends on the fact of the cruelty of the lyrics' themes speaking about drugs, alienation, alcohol's abuses, repressed sexual behaviours mainly masturbationprostitution. Sadly all those "extreme" themes the band used to build up their albums, were an obstacle for their radio airplay and DJs' support. The opener Specchio Mirror is a stunning and immediate "wake up"!
Some flute's interludes, acoustic guitars, piano and violin never manage to sweeten that ferocious atmosphere! Come Vorrei Essere Uguale a Te How I Wish to Be the Same As You is the most important and excellent tracks of the album, the second, in particular, starting with a very long and calm intro that suddenly breaks into a real burst of anger with all those heavy brass additions still in the heavy prog-rock field!
The other tracks are all very good but not at the level of these first two which are really amazing! Undoubtedly "Vietato ai Minori di 18 Anni? Highly recommended! If anything, Jumbo's "Forbidden to minors of 18 years" or rated R in the film industry title can already give you a hint of how singular the mood and music is, you're only halfway there. While we still have some traces of the bluesy rock of the debut album, the group is now a full-freaked out prog band that creates its own uncanny world, where Crimson and Zappa clash it out with Floyd and VdGG for our greatest intellectual pleasure and our ears' orgasmic pelvis thrusts into the Costa Brava - Nelson Riddle And The 101 Strings - Nelson Riddle Conducts The 101 Strings to reach out into the disturbed realm of the group.
Right from the opening lines of Specchio until the not-that soft flute outro of No! A scream of refusal coming much too late, the damage being done as you are irremediably over the edge, addicted to the worst kind of drugs: prog paradise.
In the meantime, you'll have gone by the fantastic and too short Come Vorrei, the reprise of Signor K a wink to their excellent predecessor DNAthe "UZ meets GG" realm of Via Larga the almost burlesque spirit is made solemn is driving chill-spikes down your spine or Battiato's great VCS3 oscillators and Vaccina's bells and chimes' sinister tolling. But the real centerpiece is Gil, which after an purposely fast and happy start, stops and reflects than starts over in the most somber and darkest manner of all underlined by a mellotron and Fender Rhodeswhile Fella's voice is planting fears seeds in your neurons this track sounds like Comus's Wootton playing on Crimson's ITCOFTCK and digging out tons of sane braincells.
The Gil track, ending with a percussion duo, segues into the no-less frightening Vangelo with the goose-bump-giving bell tolling into whatever's left of your sanity. And if that was not enough, some wind chimes will drive you over the edge some 40 Degrees too far into madness, sounding like a frightening Floyd through Interstellar Eugene's Heart Of The Sun meeting Crimson's Poseidon's Glass Tears.
Simply awesome, and terrifyingly beautiful Obviously such a disturbing masterpiece was not going to get much airplay, which is partly why Jumbo remains one of Italy's better-kept secrets. In some ways, lyrically, we are not far from Comus or Jan Dukes De Grey's disturbing texts, especially that the music seems to reflect the somber moods of Jumbo's angers and anxieties. Do bears defecate in the woods?
Nothing against the big groups but as with anything, there are lots of great lesser known albums that feature treasures of their own, and they sometimes take more chances. Here's one of those delicious lesser known treats. This is one those bands that gets maligned for having "harsh Italian vocals" which makes me laugh because this usually means the vocals are passionate, energetic and gregarious. In other words, the guy has a pulse. I've heard Alvaro Fella described as sounding like Roger 2good4me (Fatima Yamaha Remix) - Busy P - Tattoos For Your Ears, and Jumbo described as being somewhat difficult to get into.
They have a harder edge that compares to bands like Jet and De De Lind but they also have a more avant side than those two groups. Will you like them? Here's another way I can describe them: Jumbo sounds like the Italian version of Ange! If you like Christian Decamps boisterous spirit and the bands rowdy theatrical sound you will love Jumbo. They are over-the-top sometimes but this music is lively, fun, and interesting despite the somewhat dark lyrical content.
A special mention goes to drummer Tullio Gianatello who is nothing short of fantastic. At 5 minutes a nice break of piano and violin.
The song gets more rocking as it goes with some horns towards the end. At there's a wonderful moment where the boys sing like a drunken gang in a pub, fa la la la. A vocal section follows with more impressive instrumental work. We close with a brief piece Specchio - Jumbo (14) - Vietato Ai Minori Di 18 Anni? "No! If you need one more reason to try Jumbo consider this: Our own Sean Trane gave it 5 stars and you know he doesn't pass those out too freely.
The excellent Italian gatefold mini-LP sleeve cd reissue is of the highest quality and the booklet contains a band history, lyrics, and band photo. Essential to an Italian collection, but I'd say 3. The vocals hit you right away like a bucket of cold water in the face, with the usual response being "What the Flute and more organ follow. The guitar is back 4 minutes in just ripping it up. Violin after 5 minutes with piano.
The rough vocals return before the song ends with organ. It kicks into gear 3 minutes in with fast paced drumming and sax blasts as the organ rides shotgun. Vocal melodies arrive before the song stops and returns with a pastoral section with flute leading the way.
Retstrained vocals with some violin and acoustic guitar a minute later. The vocals are experimental Love Of Mine - Tish Hinojosa - Destinys Gate. I like this one. Church bells and haunting vocals will do that.
Some nice piano as drums come pounding in. Guitar tears it up for a while. Flute and piano to end the crazy ride.
This is my favourite track. It gets fairly atmospheric after 4 minutes. Mellotron waves crash the soundscape with sax in tow after 5 minutes.
I'm a bigger fan of the second half of this album than the first half, but to me this is easily a 4 star record, perhaps closer to 4. Delay until you get used to hearing with the small volume of sound.
When the man takes the same bassist Aldo Gargano Specchio - Jumbo (14) - Vietato Ai Minori Di 18 Anni? a Ergotrip - Clearlight - Forever Blowing Bubbles that the destructive line.
The pianos of Samuel Conte always present. And in the band a series of blows, which I am not sure whether or synthesizers are blows, I think Specchio - Jumbo (14) - Vietato Ai Minori Di 18 Anni? mayor is right the second. This time the vocals are more relaxed for the instrumental track. At the end of the song surprise, 78! Via Larga Seems like a Cartoon, maybe to illustrate the cover of the disc! Guitars well and good interpretations drawn from the battery Vito Balzan.
The whole band singing a piece of cartoon together. Several Jasons keyboards as Celeste, typical design. Gil Ballad of guitar and vocal and interpretive. Full details of the guitar, and a good keyboard solo in almost over.
This is where the band enters a crazy time doing super-broken and full of details, Pupo Bianchini of the guitars are always well boladas and rings. After a very crazy last part quiet and pensive. Full of percussions, everywhere sounds of some kind of percussion, keys and many lost some blows. Many parts in a different time broken, and many quebradeira everywhere.
Until a few bells lost the road. A good jazz guitar takes care of the environment while the guitar is based. But what is crazy is the head of the quasi-jazz crazy full of details.
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