I’ve been involved in the world of psychedelia for years now, in many capacities, and certain things start to stick and draw you ever deeper; like Alice and the infamous rabbit hole. One of the things I’ve noticed and indeed gone down said hole with, is the insane quality of psychedelia emerging from Italy, in every conceivable form. So in a bid to expose the wonderful bands I’ve fallen in love with, I’ve chosen 12 of the best and over the course of three articles, will introduce them to you (in no particular order!).
The first four were covered here; here are the next four:
Throw Down Bones were born from the ashes of Piatcions and incorporates lashings of experimentation whilst being influenced by electronica as much as rock n roll. They explain that the concept of the project is based on the idea of offering something true, without all the thoughts that influence a composer or a band during the writing/arranging process. They released debut self-titled LP in 2015 to critical acclaim, with tracks like ‘Saturator’ instantly becoming a classic. Second LP Two followed in late 2018 to much uproar as fans clambered for more. With a techno edge it was a revolutionary offering and told a tale of a band unafraid to take risks and the stage was set for world domination. Unfortunately, June 2019 saw the tragic loss of Dave Cocks, half of the duo and the psych community has mourned extensively. The music he left behind is now complemented by the emergence of a new version of the project, one that will undoubtedly be as mesmerising as its predecessor.
Milan’s The Gluts are a post-punk with a difference and are without doubt one of the loudest and most extreme of the Italian scene. Their debut LP Warsaw was released on Nesoni Records before they were picked up by Fuzz Club Records for the release of Estasi in May 2017; the album that brought them to prominence. That was followed by a session release in and finally latest LP Dengue Fever Hypnotic Trip in March 2019. Now with this band, there is no disputing that the records are fantastic, but seeing it live is another matter entirely. The raw energy and intensity that emanate from the stage are intoxicating and its no surprise with such explosive performances that the band and fans alike are exhausted at the end. With monikers attached to them such as ‘Eat Acid. See God’ and ‘Play To Believe. But Play It Loud’ they have won over hearts and minds and fans eagerly await new material which is set to be anything but boring…
Also from Milan, Nero Kane is the nickname of Marco Mezzadri, a psych dark folk songwriter with an intimate, minimal and decadent path. The beauty of psychedelia is the array of material it can accommodate and under this banner, album Love In A Dying World was released in November 2018. It attracted attention for is desert rock, psych vibes which have become ever more popular in recent times. Love In A Dying World is also the title of the experimental film shot in California by the visual artist and performer Samantha Stella who joins Nero Kane in the live set on vocals and keyboards; the film received critical acclaim and was screened in museums and art galleries. Live there is an intensity, a sense of foreboding that is heightened routinely by intense atmospherics which makes it unique. If singer/songwriters are your thing and you prefer a minimalist approach, with influences including country western, psychedelia and desert rock, you could do far worse than listen to Nero Kane.
Completing the Milanese trio come Giöbia, a quartet who produce quality acid rock with psychedelia leanings. Their debut release Hard Stories came in 2009, but they did not really establish a foothold until 2013 with the release of Introducing Night Sounds, which saw them rise to be one of the most interesting bands in Europe. The Magnifier followed in 2016 and last month saw the release of their latest offering Plasmatic Idol on Heavy Psych Sounds. They have incorporated the sound of mystical 60s trip, with neo-psychedelia right through to acid space rock and it is this versatility which has found them so well received. The are rightly considered one of the forefathers of a genre that persists in its fascination, whilst continuing to reinvent their own sound and push the boundaries of their own musical ability. There is something for everyone in Giöbia, dive into their back catalogue and you are certain to find something you like.