Thursday, June 26, 2008

June 26, 2008: Album of the Day Vol. 031: Banco del Mutuo Soccorso - 1972 - Darwin!


1. L'Evoluzione (13:59)
2. La Conquista Della Posizione Eretta (8:42)
3. Danza Dei Grandi Rettili (3:42)
4. Cento Mani E Cento Occhi (5:22)
5. 750,000 Anni Fa ... L'Amore? (5:38)
6. Miserere Alla Storia (5:58)
7. Ed Ora Io Domando Tempo Al Tempo Ed Egli Mi Risponde ... Non Ne Ho! (3:29)

Total Time: 46:50


- Gianni Nocenzi / clarinet, piano, keyboards
- Pier Luigi Calderoni / drums, tympani
- Renato D'Angelo / bass, guitar, guitar (bass)
- Francesco DiGiacomo / vocals
- Vittorio Nocenzi / organ, synthesizer, keyboards, clavinet
- Marcello Todaro / guitar (acoustic), guitar, guitar (electric), vocals

Gnosis2000 Review by Greg Northrup:

Banco - Darwin! (1972)

The second Banco album is another in their series of classics and stands as one of my most treasured albums. In fact, Darwin! was the first Italian album I got, and once I got to the shuddering grooves of "Cento Manni E Cento Occhi," I was completely converted to the passionate, thundering sound that would characterize one of my favorite bands. It's all here, the dual keyboard tapestry of the brothers Nocenzi, trading off Hammond assaults, delicate, heart-wrenching piano runs and fire-breathing Moog themes, building together in unison to moments of unimaginable climax. Atop this are the always outstanding vocals of Franceso DiGiacomo, who comes crashing in with his operatic, distinctly Italian vocal prowess.
Nearly every track on here is a gem. "L'Evoluzione" is an utter whirlwind, beginning as a tender ballad, then accelerating into a bombastic groove. "La Conquista della Posizione Eretta" is a keyboard driven apocalypse, breathtaking throughout. And man, check out "Cento Manni e Cento Occhi." This is the song that made me a believer the first time I heard it, an up-tempo barn burner that moves through a number of themes, carried by Franceso's vocals, before arriving at its unbelievable, aggressive conclusion. "750,000 Anni Fa... L'Amore" is a tremendously moving ballad featuring Francesco backed only by a shimmering piano theme; an expressive, morose and almost romantic atmosphere pervades the song.

All in all this is another unequivocal classic. The first three Banco albums are all among my personal favorites, showing a band in the midst of a period of nearly unmatched consistency, on par with any of the more well renowned English bands. Darwin! is an excellent place to start exploring Italian progressive rock.



No comments: