Black Rainbows, Supermothafuzzalicious!!: Mother of the Solar System

Posted in Reviews on March 6th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

It’s easy to imagine the mouthful title of riff-rocking Roman trio Black Rainbows third album, Supermothafuzzalicious!! (double-exclamation points included), emerged as a spontaneous outburst upon hearing the record in studio playback. It’s about as apt a title as I could come up with, and though the band seem to be perpetually following the riffs of guitarist/vocalist Gabriele Fiori, they have undertaken some creative growth since their 2008 debut, Twilight in the Desert, which while not without its charm or tonal appeal felt more singly derived from Kyuss. Released by Longfellow Deeds/Heavy Psych Sounds, Supermothafuzzalicious!! presents a Black Rainbows who come across as more mature musically without losing sight of a lighthearted lyrical nature. Songs like opener “Burn Your Nation,” on which Fiori personalizes a popular heavy rock theme of being born too late and, according to him, in the wrong place, and the much later penultimate “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” – the title of which also comprises most of the lyric content – prove that while Black Rainbows have moved beyond their simplistic beginnings – 2010’s Carmina Diabolo providing a transitional place between the first and third releases – Fiori, bassist Marco De Masi and drummer Daniele Conti are still having fun. Their love of the genre remains intact, and with upbeat, California Crossing-esque grooves on “Behind the Line” or “Brain Circles,” they stand in line with nigh on two decades of heavy traditionalism even as they manage to inject the songs with a personality that’s more distinctly theirs than anything they’ve done before.

The album’s 10 tracks/44 minutes divide into almost exactly even vinyl-ready sides between CD centerpiece cuts “Solar System” and “Lady,” and indeed Black Rainbows seem committed to physical formatting, as limited LP editions of Supermothafuzzalicious!! have been made available in several different colors (yellow, fuchsia, green) and both jewel case and digipak CDs are on sale. As regards their sound, it’s likewise thought out, as although Fiori and company maintain an air of spontaneity that only really wavers on side B dip “Mother of the Sun,” there’s also the clear impression the album gives that they’re fully conscious of what they’re doing in terms of the songwriting. These songs feel loose – in their construction, not performance – they feel accessible, warmly fuzzed, but underlying that, the strength of the choruses as delivered by Fiori and the smoothness of the rhythms carried across by his guitar and De Masi and Conti shows that there are no real accidents here. “Behind the Line,” which is the shortest song on Supermothafuzzalicious!! apart from the epilogue/closer, “Cosmic Flower Blues,” proves that. At 3:16, it is a treasure of groove-riffed simplicity, but each ebb and flow in Fiori’s guitar and the straight line that Conti draws on drums through the start-stop central figure is admirably committed to portraying heavy homage and serving the track’s catchiness. “Mastermind,” which follows, is longer and somewhat darker in its lyric, but still works in terms of the overall flow of the album. That flow is almost entirely unwavering throughout, and greatly aided by the balance of the mix, which puts the vocals on an even level with the guitar and De Masi’s bass – itself shining through on “Mastermind” in both its lockstep with and work around Fiori.

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Go Behind the Line with Black Rainbows

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 17th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

I haven’t yet heard the new Black Rainbows album, which bears the awesome title Supermotherfuzzalicious, but if “Behind the Line” is anything to go by, the Italian stoner rocking Duna Jam veterans may have just earned the distinction of being the Fu Manchu of Roma. Their into-focus/out-of-focus video for the track features the trio (and their amps) against a plain white background and is more fun to watch than you’d ever think based on that description.

Rock and roll.

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When is a Tour Actually a Tour?

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 26th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

Someone once told me that if you had three of something, that was enough to legitimately call it a collection. By that standard, I’ve always considered three dates in a row as the marker for a tour. Even if it’s a weekender, you need to throw in that Friday or Monday date to really make it count. Can’t just be Saturday and Sunday.

Enter Italian fuzz rockers Black Rainbows, whose quality second album, Carmina Diabolo, was released last year on Longfellow Deeds. They’ve got a tour scheduled, and on the poster, they list a series of Friday/Saturdays and then, toward the end of March, a five-date run.

My question is this: Does the entire group of shows count as a tour? They’re all certainly supporting the same album, and even though the shows until the March 22 TBA date are all in Italy, they still require the band to get in a van and drive somewhere. The last five dates certainly are, but are all the shows part of the same tour? Does this count?

Feel free to check out the poster below while you decide:

Whether or not you think it’s all part of the same tour, if you’re in any of these places, you should go see Black Rainbows.

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Frydee Black Rainbows

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 24th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

I know most people have already split to do the family Xmas thing or at very least get drunk, but I just wanted to take a second to wish everyone a happy holiday and to say thank you for checking in on this site, for registering for the forums, and most of all, for coming back once you’ve already been here. Today we passed 250,000 page views for the month of December alone, and that’s the best present I could ask for.

It seems like kind of a random choice, but I thought we’d end this week with Italian fuzz rockers Black Rainbows. The track is “Himalaya” from their 2010 album, Carmina Diabolo, and it doesn’t really have anything to do with the holiday — you could argue the Himalayas are cold and it’s cold on Xmas, but that’s a stretch at best — but somehow it seemed to work. It’s straight-up riff rock. Stoner rock. I hope you enjoy it.

Much to come next week. We’ll finish up the top 20 of 2010 countdown and I’ll also have a bunch of other “Best Of”-type posts. If you’ve been wondering what my favorite cassette of the year is, that’s just one of the secrets to be revealed.

Until then, a merry Xmas to you and yours. I wish you the happiest and safest of yules, and please remember that if you need a place to get away for a couple minutes, the forums never close. I know I’ll be checking in.

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