Mary Newsletter - "Del Perduto Coraggio"
(Mellow Records 2000, MMP 384)
From Aural Innovations #15 (April 2001)
On their third release, Italy's Mary Newsletter further refine their unique blend of progressive rock and psychedelia. Sometimes dark, sometimes cheery, the music is complex but retains a solid foundation in good old rock music while evolving continually through multiple movements and themes. All the vocals are in Italian, a language that flows quite beautifully for this music and therefore an inability to comprehend the lyrics in no way lessens the listening experience.
A great example of Mary Newsletter's talent for combining styles is "Ah...sssch!". The song opens with a soft, slow piano melody which is soon joined by a slightly avant-garde psychedelic slide guitar. The combination is haunting. Various other noises, including a grating wave of fuzz, join the fray along with a drum 'n bass rhythmic pattern. Then the band launches into song. The guitars rock hard, one strumming rockin' chords and the other blasting out cool bluesy psych licks. The vocal harmonies are strong and I really liked the phased keyboard sound... almost like something from an old Soft Machine album. Something a bit different in terms of mixing prog rock, psychedelia, and hard rock.
For "Andrea Emo Nel Suo Studio" the band blast out a banquet of dark atmospheric spacey electronics and trippy guitar noodlings. But there are also the melodic Italian vocals making for a unique and enjoyable combination. A wild jumble of freaky space sounds come to a boil as the full band prepares to kick in and once they do we're once again rockin' hard. I love the dirty guitar sound that gives a great jam feel to the music. This is actually a multi-movement track that accomplishes a lot in 8-minutes.
On "Dovuti Effetti Di Una Sola Causa" we're treated to a wave of drone, steady percussion, and a bubbling synth pattern that back a sample of a radio broadcast (sounds like Russian). The music journeys along for several minutes until culminating in a powerful majestic Italian prog styled rocker. "Del Perduto Coraggio" is a similar track that combines drum 'n bass with trippy space guitar and droning synths that are joined by vocalist Massimiliano Galbani who launches into an intense rant. There's some lovely guitar freakout bits too. And for more freakout moments I really liked "Neon", a rocker with bluesy and gorgeously wah'd slip-slidin' psych guitar. And "Prospettiva Nevski" is a standout track that has soft melodic moments, but is also the heaviest rocker on the album.
In summary, Mary Newsletter play the "prog-psych" blend better than many though a member has told me that we can expect to hear them leaning more in the psychedelic direction in the future. Either way these guys do a tremendous job. If you like space and psych but also have a penchant for classic Italian progressive rock then you really need to check this band out.
Del Perduto Coraggio is distributed by Mellow Records. You can visit their web site.
You can visit Mary Newsletter at their web site.
Sound files are available at their Mp3.com web site.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz