Friday, 29 October 2010

Tapso II – Tapso II (Self Release)

I’m starting to enjoy listening to Italian rock music; from my growing experience it is always unconventional both in sound and structure, but never to the point where it becomes inaccessible to the listener. So it was with great pleasure that when first taking in Tapso II, they fell into this exact stereotype. A three piece from Sicily, they are an experimental rock band with one of those never-gonna-work kind of line ups; drums, guitar, vocals as standard, then the addition of a violin and electric organ make for what is no doubt going to be an intriguingly bizarre mini album.

As the opening song ‘Bulldog’ crashes in it is immediately evident that the violin and organ is by no means going to be an obvious addition to the sound of the band. Everything besides the drums is laced with distortions, phasers and seemingly any other effect they could lay their hands on making all the lead instruments blend into one mass of noise. The vocals in the songs are very sparse and often not much more than softly spoken lines, but they can change the dynamic of each track very effectively, at times adding some much needed bottom end to a bass-less line up. The songs themselves vary from jagged jazz rock sections to long winded psychedelic moments where that violin sound all of a sudden becomes very apparent and out of place. It is unfortunate that as you get further into the record these long winded sections seem to take over. It takes nearly four minutes of not much happening in ‘Almond Galaxy’ before the song fully kicks in and actually starts making an impact, whereas ‘Il Mostro’ never really gets to that point even after seven minutes of constant drones and gratingly amateur sounding violin arpeggios.

It is a pity that Tapso II lean so heavily towards the obscure and slow side of their music; when they do kick in and start playing their instruments to their full potential they make one hell of a racket, in a very good way. With occasional moments that sound like they could have been taken from Jon Spencer’s ‘Now I Got Worry’ or Beck’s ‘Mutations’ there is an obvious potential there, but I do think realising this will involve sacrificing some of those lengthy moments of calm for something more appealing. 5/10

No comments:

Post a Comment