Peter DiStefano / Venice Underground

Venice Underground

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Conventional wisdom used to have it that guitar-based alternative rock and electronic club music were incompatible. The argument went as follows: if alternative rock is about vocal personality, real instruments and real musicians and club-minded electronica is all about the track, the beat and the producer, how can the two possibly be combined? But in fact, everyone from Republica to Garbage to Ministry has demonstrated that alterna-rock can incorporate club elements and electro-beats without undermining the power of the electric guitar. The same can be said about Venice Underground, a project led and produced by guitarist Peter DiStefano of Porno for Pyros fame. This enjoyable debut album is very club-friendly; DiStefano's forceful, hard-rocking electric guitar is right at home with synthesizers, and he successfully brings elements of techno and EBM to an alternative rock foundation. It's important to stress that Venice Underground, for all its club appeal, is rock first and foremost. While a lot of rave music isn't concerned with vocal personality or real song structures, those things a big part of this CD. Venice Underground doesn't just offer beats--it offers songs--and those who appreciate the punky vixen vocals of Garbage's Shirley Manson and Republica's Saffron should have no problem appreciating Venice Underground singer Little Green Girl (who DiStefano features on half of the tunes). Like Garbage and Republica, Venice Underground demonstrates that guitar-powered aggression and dance club appeal can be a potent combination.

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