The Bastard Sons of Dioniso

L' Amor Carnale

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    8
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For a band associated with a TV talent show, Bastard Sons of Dioniso play surprisingly raw and powerful music, and for a record that clocks in less than 15 minutes, L'Amor Carnale is refreshingly versatile. At heart, Sons are just a regular (but good) rowdy punk band, but even that is pretty impressive in a post-blink-182 world. They waste no time in showcasing their strengths on the opening track, a loud rocker with dissonant, almost hardcore guitars giving off the vibe of a bunch of jocks simply messing around in the studio -- but they're also unable to hide the fact that what they perform are catchy and well-crafted songs. This description fits the rest of L'Amor Carnale as well, but Sons also mess around with other styles, going from cabaret-like piano tinkling and "opera-punk" -- there really is no other word for it -- to plastic synthesizers faithfully preserved in the cover of Depeche Mode's "Just Can't Get Enough"; to some mighty fine stoner rock in "Che Colpa Abbiamo Noi" with its Wall of Sound plastered over bluesy acoustics; to the Green Day-like whining of the closing song. But things are kept strictly Sons throughout -- the guitars never lose their primeval grit, the frontman's shouting is hoarse and grating, just as it is supposed to be, and the rest of the band, while capable of doing melodic backing vocals, also throw in gang choruses in the grand Bad Religion style. There are a lot of albums out there that overstay their welcome, but L'Amor Carnale is a rare exception: this one is good enough that it ought to have lasted longer.

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