GUANO PADANO – AMERICANA

Rating: 4/5
Distributor : Ipecac Recordings
Release : 24 November 2014
Buy albumhttps://www.normanrecords.com/records/150042-guano-padano-americana-
Band website: http://www.guanopadano.it

 Layout 1Tracklisting:

1.    The Hushed Universe
2.    Pian della Tortilla
3.    El Toro
4.    My Banjo Dog
5.    Dago Red
6.    But Children Own The Stars – Part I
7.    White Giant
8.    The Hollow Answer Of The Night
9.    Flem’s Circus
10.    My Town
11.    Station 37
12.    Cacti
13.    But Children Own The Stars – Part II
14.    Better Than The Radio
15.    The Seed And The Soil
16.    Black Boy
17.    The Fat Of The Land

Band Line-up:

ALESSANDRO  STEFANA: steel guitar, banjo, raagini, clap hands, acoustic guitar, soprano guitar, pedal steel guitar, electric guitar, omnichord, stylophone.

DANILO GALLO: bass, vibes, clap hands, upright piano, caravelle delux organ, vox super continental organ.

ZENO DE ROSSI: drums, slit drum, tambourine, clap hands, vocal, trap set, bull buster, glockenspiel

REVIEW

Picture yourself in post-war Italy, the 60s, emerging from the shadows into the light of a street lamp in front of a cinema playing the last American western films. I mean cowboy. Well the Italians did them better. And that’s what Guano Padano is paying tribute to in Americana.

The Italian trio, signed into Mike Patton’s label Ipecac, searched into the Italian roots of classic western but also into the 50s literature to tell a universal story of humanity. There are no vocals here, apart from spoken words here and there. It’s the music, the sound that matters in this 3rd release. Think Ennio Morricone recommending them to Quentin Tarantino for another yet to come western crazy film.

It starts slowly, almost shyly with the first track The Hushed Universe, almost perfect soundtrack to a dual with a lonesome rider and a sherriff in the lost town of Trinity.

Throughout the album the trio plays and experiments with many instruments, all kinds if guitars, percussion, claps, harmonica, rhythms and melodies. All linked by a certain nostalgia of black and white films of the 50s and 60s.

My Banjo Dog is interesting as it mixes a psychedelic rock with country music banjo sounds and elopes to a spaceship (you can actually hear a lightsaber). It’s Cowboy Bebop. (if you know what I mean, Kudos!)

In an instrumental album, obviously no vocals, but maybe some guest spoken words. That’s the case especially in Dago Red where there is a talk about American authors and screenwriter John Fante on a Gipsy inspired tune. The same in The Town where Joey Burns from Calexico tells about the spirit of The Town,  reading an extract from Dark Laughter, by Sherwood Anderson.

The other titles are all very cinematic. All evocative of a time long gone, which fed our cultural conscience whether we like it or not. Banjos, guns, duals, depression, social agony, diversity, adventure, loneliness.

The album Americana does a great service to the cult, full of references, I would suggest it as entree before you listen to Volbeat’s last album Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies, also inpired by a certain idea of America, long gone, but full of legends, spirits and rich musicality.

Guano Padano is not cheesy at all, quite the contrary, very tasty and full of diverse flavours which can only lift your spirits and take you back at the time of Americana.

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