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Vicolo Inferno: Stray Ideals

Hailing from Imola, Italy, Stray Ideals is the second full length album from hard rock-grunge straddlers Vicolo Inferno. Providing a neat line in riff fuelled rock, everything from Pearl Jam inspired grit to Black Stone Cherry good times is covered as Igor Piatessi reminds of Eddie Vedder, while never quite feeling the need to ape him. Recruiting the rhythm section from Showstripsilence (no, none of these bands have good names…) between 2012's Hourglass and now has been an astute move, the in-built understanding only time can bring allowing drummer Michele 'Gollo' Gollini and bassist Wallace (presumably sans Gromit) to give Stray Ideals a seriously solid backbone. Add in guitarist Marco Campoli and Vicolo Inferno are an accomplished lot.

Where things stutter a little is the similarity between the thirteen numbers on show, the track listing at least two songs too heavy, if not more. It's not that this is really all that lengthy an album in terms of pure running time and yet as it reaches the three quarter point you are left with the feeling that there's not all that much left to say. Where things work strongest is the unusually successful blend of 90s earnestness and the blues rich rock that's come so back into fashion in recent years; the closest comparison in terms of the clever blending possibly Switzerland's Progstone. The beefier and more straight ahead attack of "Noise Of Silence" (with a nice use of 'bullet mic'), where an upbeat Alice In Chains spring to mind, and the album's title cut, where the angst is ramped up and punctuated with a low slung melancholy is possibly where Stray Ideals hits its sweet spot. The difference shown between the two proving that this lot can vary their offering when they put their minds to it and hopefully will continue to do so as the years roll on. On these two tracks, and pretty much everywhere else for that matter, Campoli really does prove his worth, the guitar work pretty much faultless throughout whether you're looking for a tasty solo or a crushing power chord.

Nothing here quite falls into the category of filler and yet only a couple of cuts really nudge towards killer status; leaving much of what Vicolo Inferno do as decent, well executed fare that's pretty entertaining as it spins, but not quite memorable enough to really stay with you long after. More solid than spectacular, if this lot can maybe start to produce new material on a more regular basis then they might just unlock the obvious potential they possess.

Track Listing
1. Grey Matter Brain
2. Dirty Magazzeno
3. Rude Soul
4. Stray Ideals
5. Two Matches
6. Unnameables
7. Ambush
8. Heartwoofer
9. On Road's Edge
10. Rough Hills
11. Noise of Silence
12. Crosses Market
13. Blood Mist

Added: July 22nd 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Vicolo Inferno on CD Baby
Hits: 557
Language: english

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