Sweet Sense of Release
Italy’s BASTA PUNTOESCLAMATIVO AKA BASTA! (took me embarrassingly long to get it), return with this sardonically, irreverently titled EP, celebrating that “sweet sense of release” when the urge to urinate overtakes the hapless swimmer(s) in the oceanic environs.
It’s Short But At Least It’s Brief
Yup, logs in at eleven whimsical, gritty, tasteful (!), chamber-progressive-tinged goofy minutes- plus that vital final eighteen seconds.
But to be fair, there’s a heaping helping of fine music happening herein. Which for me is part of the pleasure- that contrast between the zany concept of the title track, and the excellent musicianship and composition on display. Although I can’t be sure, BASTA! seems to be: – Damiano Bondi / Diamonica Hammond 44 (?); – Saverio Sisti / Electric Guitar; – Giacomo Soldani / Bass; – Andrea Tinacci / Clarinet/Bass clarinet; and – Alessio Jussi / Drums.
I have reason to believe this is reasonably accurate.
The EP consists of two (2) tracks; opening with “Oceanurina” in which we hear reflective clean guitar chords soon joined by wistful melodica(?) sweetly presenting the melodic line, with restrained, yet splashy drums. Soon the clarinet joins in harmony and counterpoint lines, and keyboards help build along with a bass guitar underneath. The band begins to quietly cook with classic verve and some restraint with increasingly complex interplay.
Soon there’s a gentler interlude leading back to the full melody, while the drums and bass back out somewhat, then gritty guitar chords enter. There are a number of increasingly complex clarinet and keyboard unison lines with that cooking but restrained rhythm section. Rhythm guitar adds some almost disco-funk before unwinding with the band getting heavier. The lead guitar enters with authority over staccato background, then develops into a embracing melodic passage in which the crunchy bass and the vibrant bass clarinet play a large role. Full band unison leads to the sweet melodica sound and clarinet, and fade.
…which is apparently an updated version of “Alabasta” from BASTA!’s first album “Ogetta Di Studio” (which may be another clever title; again not sure)- opens with insouciant bass clarinet and bass guitar interacting, then smooth Hammond organ. Drums introduce distant but ripping guitar lines over wandering bass guitar. There’s a sudden crescendo, with the electric lead guitar playing octaves, and a heavier band build-up with keyboards and gutsy guitar chords.
The trademark crisp, precise rhythm section keeps things cooking, then a shift to clarinet meandering in mid-range. Rich Hammond organ guilds, then there’s a transition to funky little breaks with bass clarinet and keys tip-tapping together.
Another shift sounds like playful calypso, with bounce and verve, and there’s funky unison playing with guitar/bass/keys, then a nice guitar/bass interplay. The full band comes steaming in which the bass clarinet takes a brief lead role over silky electric guitar. There are whimsical keyboard sounds and pretty slappin’ bass guitar tones. This leads into a straight ahead melodic, punchy passage with the full band rocking with all cylinders firing.
There’s a keyboard-led passage, a hush…
…and a quite dramatic climactic close…only to discover…
… bass synth rumble fading.
So This is Fun
I think BASTA! has created a blast of an EP, greater than the sum of its parts. Hopefully we can ALL ‘hold our water’ until their next full-length ‘release’.
BASTA! links: spotify– https://open.spotify.com/artist/6EiVb4LhDiXaMSB14Yfn0K; youtube– https://www.youtube.com/user/bastaneoprog; website– http://www.bastapuntoesclamativo.it/
Progressive Rock Fanatics facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/595398647223538/