Band Name: Morricone Youth
Album Name: Silenzio Violento
Best Element: Ambitious songwriting and instrumentation.
Label Name: n/a
Band E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Silenzio Violento is a sprawling mess of an album. It’s nearly sixty minutes of jazz-infused indie-rock, dark atmosphere, sudden bursts of near-cacophony, some rocking out, and a lot of melancholy pondering. But yet, when I get to the end of Silenzio Violento, my first thought is “Wow, let’s hear that sprawling mess of an album again!”
Morricone Youth started out as a band that covered soundtrack scores- they even take their name from famous composer Enrico Morricone. Thus, it’s no surprise that opening track “Silenzio Violento (titoli)” sounds pretty much like the opening credits on a movie- the guitars are epic and sweeping, as if surveying a ravaged landscape; the snare-heavy drums are separated and military, punctured with ominous bells in the background; the female vocals are a high, wispy, forlorn aria that deliver even more majestic melancholy.
But it’s not all soundtrack fare here. As if to prove that the Youth are not the ravaged landscape, but the ones about to ravage it, the next track “Starshine” blasts out of the gate in an indie-rock vendetta. “I can’t wait for this rocketship to finally get us off!” calls Dreiky Caprice, as the band launches dramatically into a dark, complex, wondrous universe of music. The tenor saxophone leads the sound here, playing fat and loud. The layers of keys lay down a strong foundation along with the punchy bass and jazzy drumming. The vocals and guitars fit together on top of all this madness, bringing a sense of cohesiveness. The vocals are high but never obnoxious- passionate but never over-the-top.
Morricone Youth enjoys pushing boundaries- throughout this album they consistently experiment with new soundscapes and ideas, all the while retaining the dark, eerie feel of a cramped backroom venue. It’s like OK Computer with less social agenda and more jazzy chaos; more passion, less disaffection.
Because of their scope and range, every song is worth describing. “Bye Bye (take 5)” features fast trip-hop drumming under a slow-moving slab of ‘ah’ vocals, smooth keys, and lounge-esque sax, creating an unique mood, while “Monster” passes almost a minute and a half with fuzzed out vocals of an argument scuffling along under some static and other excess noise. It breaks out into a rollicking chase scene of a song, eventually. “Hoist” is a funky endeavor that calls up memories of 80’s cop shows. No joke. “Brujo Malo” is an amazing indie-rock song- starting out with an ominous low-end piano line, picking up a quick drumline, grabbing a wordless, jumpy vocal line, adding in some distorted guitar, throwing down some creepy organ notes- the song is nerve-wracking.
Silenzio Violento has a dramatic air to it that imparts the notion that Morricone Youth wrote a rock opera about a seedy underworld crime ring and this is just the music part of it. There’s slow songs [“Bye Bye (End Credits)”“>, jazzy songs (“Funny Thing”), crazy songs (“Brujo Malo”), simpler songs (“I.V.A.N.”), and everything in between. Their talent is undeniable, their creativity is unbelievable, and their audaciousness is almost unmatchable. If you’re up for an indie-rock experience that will make you think “What the heck?” just as often as “Heck yes!”, then Morricone Youth’s tricked-out soundtrack music is for you. I know I can’t stop listening to it.