Not far from the popular Rimini and San Marino hails this Rock 4-piece sometimes compared to Nickelback, Creed, Alterbridge, Placebo, Oasis and the likes. The comparisons are actually not often so plain, in that the Romagna band's songs play the same genres through their track list, yet they rarely sound like something already heard. The truth? They have to be seen as references, inspirations, not comparisons; starting points, not acts which were plagiarized.
Emblema is fairly prolific, as it's released 4 full-lengths in 7 years of existence. With "Keep out from Me" they're ready to embrace a wider audience, recurring to the English language in all of the songs for the first time and also debuting in digital stores (Itunes and Dada).
I received good vibrations when I got contacted by leader, vocalist and band representative Stefano Massari, and I got even more when I opened the envelope with the CD in. The music couldn't but confirm the positive flow that touched my guts, thanks to its smoothness and catchiness that turn it to a record that even people distant from Rock or without musical education can appreciate immediately.
"Break the Cover" is the way the CD approaches the listener and it's an amazing track whose refrain might remind of the almighty Jane's Addiction; astonishing is the matching between vocals and guitar licks, as well as the kick-ass riff closing the track.
"Justified" is based on melancholic lyrics, sad vocals, contrasting the lively tones of adrenalinic riffs, which are one better than the others, even stronger by the Pop/Punk refrain.
"Trashing Smashing" is my favourite one, including the best vocals of the whole album. This is pure magic and it delivers thrills of pleasure everytime I listen to it. 'nuff said!
I guess it's got to be pretty satisfying and funny for the guitarist and the drummer to play "Rusting All", because this emerges from the way it was played.
The title track is sleazy and alcoholic, it's silly Pop Rock flaring up in the end, whereas "Day Off" runs on the lines of fast and tight Rock; I bet it's gonna have even people on wheelchairs move their asses at their liveshows! There's a modern break before the Punk chorus imported from Trip Hop, too.
"A Step ahead" reveals itself as another masterpiece of real Alternative rock; this composition was also chosen to be portrayed in an awesome psychedelic video, available on our TV or on youtube. The bass sounds are decidedly crushing in this song and the vocals will make you fly high so as to enjoy a marvellous panorama.
The perfect arranging for "Cut Them Entirely" makes me sure this track would be ideal for the North American market.
Add an explosive and balanced production and you'll realize the only faults are the singer's mistakes once in a while. We can tolerate them for this time, but it's something to work on during the preparation of the new album. One more aspect to notice is that Emblema's songs are devoid of guitar or drums solos; this is appropriate, since they don't need them; in fact such bands fully respect the meaning of the phrase 'the sum of the single parts is higher than the total'.
Looking for creeps by an album that is Alternative and Vintage at the same time without making you feel uncomfortable or marring the songs? "Keep out from Me" is the best means to the end.
MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - October 20, 2011