By: Bruce Cowie
Ai Margini Della Città | facebook | twitter | bandcamp |
Released on January 1, 2015 via Independent
OK, I think I’ll keep this fairly brief1, being, as it is, a review of a little thing. A pretty little thing, to be sure, but not a thing of any great consequence. A post-rock EP, in fact. From Italy, as you may have guessed from the name.
And, really, that’s all it is. No more, no less. How you receive it will depend entirely on your fondness for, or tolerance of, standard ‘crescendo-core’ post-rock. Me? I like it. It’s not going to re-invent the genre, it’s not going to step off the well-worn path, but, dammit, it’s an easy thing to listen to.
As I promised brevity, I’ll just pick out the highlights. Well, highLIGHT, really. And that is ‘Der Blaue Reiter’2. Twice.
Y’see, it’s there in two versions. The regular one, and the ‘Piano version’. And the thing that stands out, for me at least, is the rather lovely bass part which, in version one, kicks in after about a minute of standard skittery drums and pinging guitar. It’s clean and clear, and it pretty much carries the rest of the song all by itself. It gets a bit fuzzy during the inevitable crescendo bit, but it’s always there.
And it stands out even more on the ‘Piano version’, which is, it must be said, the true star of the EP. It’s a gorgeous, summery thing, all tinkling waterfalls of piano and that bass riff. It’s pure sunshine. If only they could have resisted the urge to hit the volume switch. If the song had been, maybe, two minutes shorter it would have been perfect.
Which is, I think, my main gripe about the whole EP. The songs are pretty, well made, nice tunes, but they are, all of them, just that wee bit too long. They say everything that needs to be said, and then they say it again. This is a short-ish EP that really needs to be shorter.
I think that there is potential here, perhaps. I’m an enormous fan of this kind of thing, and I like this record, really I do, but if Ai Margini Della Città3 want to stand out from the post-rock crowd they’ll need to be a tad more… focussed, maybe? Or allow the songs to develop a bit more and justify their length.
I genuinely look forward to hearing where they go from here. There’s good stuff to be had here, good but not yet exceptional. Keep it up, lads, you can get there.
- Not too many unnecessary footnotes.
- An odd choice of title for a band from Italy, but there you go…
- Translates variously, depending on which site you use, as ‘The City on the Edge’ or ‘The Edge of the City’. From, I believe, a 1954 documentary by Georgio Ferroni about rural life on the outskirts of big cities. Take your pick, either one seems as good as the other.