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Baltaro, Paolo: Live Pillheads

Guitarist, Songwriter and producer Paolo Baltaro takes to the stage with his band the Pillheads in this live recording. The album opens up with "Another Sunny Day", a song with almost a punk rock attitude and a solid opening track. The third cut "Angel Of March" has a truly epic feel and keyboardist Simone Morandotti soars on the track .

Track four "Swimmer In The Sand" is a particular favorite of mine, a beautiful song that is about as good as a song can get with a beautiful feel to it and Baltaro's flawless playing .

The album moves quickly and in later tracks like "Italian Guns" there is a more rough feel to a song that has just the right amount of bite. The albums closing number "Cole Porter And Frankz’s Birthday Party" is a bit chaotic but nothing too extreme for a overall good listening experience.

Track Listing
1) Another Sunny Day
2) You'll Never Die On Me
3) Angel Of March
4) Swimmer In The Sand
5) Bike
6) Brightest Moon
7) Italian Guns
8) Cole Porter And Frankz's Birthday Party

Added: April 6th 2019
Reviewer: John Patrick Robbins
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 231
Language: english

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Baltaro, Paolo: Live Pillheads
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2019-04-05 23:46:30
My Score:

Having built up a strong reputation as part of Arcansiel and Societa Anonima Decostruzionismi Organici, singer and bassist Paolo Baltaro swapped four strings for six and stepped out under his own name. Two studio albums have followed, Low Fare Flight To The Earth and The Day After The Night Before, with Live Pillheads, as its name suggests, his first live release. Gathering together cuts from his solo work with the Arcansiel piece “Angel Of March” and a jet propelled “Bike”, originally from the Syd Barrett led Pink Floyd, this album not only showcases the catalogue of Baltaro but also the talents of his new band, Simone Morandoti (keys), Daniele Mignone (bass), Andrea Beccaro (drums) and Abdrea Orru’ (guitar) - otherwise known as Pillheads. That there’s an early Floyd cut is undoubtedly a hint as to the attack of Baltaro and his cohorts and yet at the same time it really isn’t. Yes, the ten tracks presented here are progressive and a little from the psych side of life but there’s much more energy, abrasion and grit added to the smooth progressive mix here. It makes the likes of the piano infused “Angel Of March” a pulsating push, while the funked up strike of “Sunny Days” provides the playful side of things that Euro-prog often handles so well.

A brand new track is also aired in the shape of “Brightest Moon” and the melancholy prog sway suggests that this outfit definitely remain headed in the right direction. “Italian Guns” adds an energetic burst of riffola played off against a dreamy, yet unsettling sprinkle of keys and voice that makes for an expertly crafted cut. Although the rather loftily titled “Cole Porter And Frankz’s Birthday Party” is possibly the most mind stretching psych sound on site, an intentionally strained vocal adding an urgency to some Tony Banks like keyboards and an erratically forceful melding of bass and guitar; the trio of Baltaro, Orru’ and Mignone combining quite masterfully.

In this age of file and stream, two CD exclusive tracks make the old fashioned suddenly hip and trendy once more, “I Don’t Mind” a purposeful mid-paced strut that adds a slice of the blues that shouldn’t feel at home here, but really does, while the thumping grind of “Nowhere Street part II” truly allows Baltaro to stretch out during the guitar solo, as well as giving Morandotti’s keyboards some well deserved time in the sun. Unusually for ‘bonus’ tracks, I’d suggest these really are worth the effort.

More an underground name than a leader of the pack Paolo Baltaro really is something of an undiscovered gem. Live Pillheads is an excellent example of his powers and a superb introduction to his music.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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