Verbena


(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
Souls For Sale , 6.5/10
Into the Pink , 6/10
Verbena: La Musica Negra (2003), 4/10
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I Verbena sono il gruppo formato da Scott Bondy a Birmingham (Alabama). I primi singoli, I Say So/ Silver Queen/ Ever Rent A Heart (Setanta, 1993)(Merge, 1995) e Everyday Shoes/ Ever Rent A Heart/ Pony Express (Merge, 1995), poi riassunti sull'EP Pilot Park (Merge, 1996) con l'aggiunta della title-track, avevano fatto sperare in una reincarnazione degli Stooges con l'angoscia dei Nirvana. I Say So e Everyday Shoes, destinate a rimanere i loro capolavori, hanno peraltro l'orecchiabilita` del bubblegum.

Invece Hey, Come On e Shaped Like A Gun, tratti da Souls For Sale (Merge, 1997), cosi` come Hot Blood, The Desert e Kiss Yourself, viravano verso gli stereotipi dell'hard-rock del Sud. Le linee di basso di Daniel Johnston sono tanto importanti quanto la chitarra. La ballad The Song That Ended Your Career, il swamp-boogie Junk For Fashion alla Creedence Clearwater Revival e il Postcard Blues mostrano anche una faccia piu` pensosa e sentimentale.

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Into the Pink (Capitol, 1999), the mass-scale launch, showcases the proven skills of the leader and the good songs are not lacking: fierce ballads such as Into the Pink, Bang Bang and above all Baby Got Shot, and even the piano-based dirge of Lovely Isn't Love which opens the album. What is lacking is the seminal track, the song that sticks them to the mind beyong the flickering images of teen angst. Into the Pink (Capitol, 1999), il lancio` su grande scala, dimostra le indubbie qualita` del leader, e le buone canzoni non mancano: ballate brucianti come Into the Pink, Bang Bang e soprattutto Baby Got Shot, e persino la romanza per pianoforte di Lovely Isn't Love che apre il disco. Manca pero` il pezzo da brivido, il brano che li faccia ricordare oltre la fugace impressione dei loro melodrammi adolescenziali.

Never the band to miss a train, Verbena jumps on Queen of the Stone Age's bandwagon with La Musica Negra (2003) and its trite imitations (Way Out West, Killing Floor).

Verbena's vocalist A.A. Bondy released collections of alt-country music such as the intimate American Hearts (2007), the acoustic When The Devil's Loose (2009) and Believers (2011), starkly produced by Rob Schnapf. If Verban had sounded like a revival of the original blues revival movement of the early 1960s, Bondy's solo albums sounded like a revival of the original folk revival movement of the late 1950s, at best sounding like a more virile version of Chris Isaak and a more personal brand of slocore.

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