Thursday, September 15, 2011

Review: Emblema - Keep Out From Me (2011)

Emblema [Website | MySpace]
Keep Out From Me

Emblema is an Italian alternative rock outfit from the small comune of Gambettola in the northeastern part of the country. Joining together in 2004, Stefano Massari (vocals), Andrea Piemonti (guitar), Massimo Baldini (bass), and Carlo Lastrucci (drums) have released three albums prior to 2011's Keep Out From Me - which also happens to be Emblema's first to be sung entirely in English. With retro movements being so popular these days in many musical genres, it stands to reason that a return to the crisp alt-rock sounds of the mid to late '90s would be equally well-received among fans familiar with that era. Or so Emblema hopes, for their sound is distinctly rooted in the style of bands like Placebo, Sublime, Harvey Danger, and Sum 41.

Massari's vocal style is very similar to that of Placebo's Brian Molko, warranting the general comparison to that veteran UK act, but Emblema's guitar tone is somewhat more organic in nature and definitely less polished - though no less interesting. In fact, Piemonti does an excellent job delivering the hooky riffs that are Emblema's bread and butter. He even shows off a bit on "Rusting All" with a swirling progginess underscored by Baldini's discernible bass lines. The solo on the title track has a bit of a virtuosic quality to it that provides a nice contrast to the funky vibe of the riffs.

Emblema certainly hits all the '90s alt-rock numbers on Keep Out From Me, including a bit of a delve into Sublime-like ska territory on "Day Off". The energetic "Justified" stands out as a favorite for me due to its Sum 41 pop-punk appeal, but I couldn't find a single track that wasn't enjoyable to one degree or another. Through catchy melodies, infectious hooks, and quality vocals, Emblema has crafted an album that is a quality vessel for reaching out to international audiences. If you're a fan of '90s alt-rock, Keep Out From You is an album worth investigating.

Track Listing
1Break the Cover3:44
3Trashing Smashing3:09
4Rusting All3:16
5Keep Out From Me3:13
6Day Off3:24
7A Step Ahead3:11
8Cut Them Entirely3:54
Total Runtime26:56

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1 comment:

  1. Happy New Year to everybody!!!
    In particular to those who are struggling to change something in their country. Second verse of “TRASHING SMASHING” wants remember to “screaming for our stupid sense of justice”.