Monday, August 15, 2016

Chronic Hangover - Neo Inferno Italiano (2016)

Chronic Hangover are an Italian act that seem to mix what I'd consider a bit of rock, thrash, and other modernisms into the mix – one I particularly do not care for. But it's not the mix in general where the problem lies, it appears to be in the frontman's approach to screaming. Or I should say, his constant screaming. I also found it quite ironic that his name is Jacopo, who is also the name of the character in the visual novel The House In Fata Morgana that I always hated, even during the redemption stage. Odd remembrances aside, I'll agree that these gentlemen do pack quite a punch with their oblong approach to rock music which even reminds me of an act like The Murderdolls. There's definitely some air of a punk rock vibe going on here, but with more of a thrash edge and some surprisingly rocking solos courtesy of Mattia. In a way, it's more of a punk rock/thrash, except when it's not. Some unexpected blues rolls into “Sociopatia” and equals out to a punky blues, but still retains a hard-edge. Even though I don't like Jacopo's vocal approach at first, I feel that it does go with the act and after awhile, perhaps I could enjoy it. During this second listen, I'm finding that it isn't necessarily unlistenable and Mattia handles the guitar well-enough to keep my attention in spite of the vocals. The band almost feels a bit like grunge rock, but they don't really seem to play too often by the rules and it does make for a performance that shouldn't grate on one's ears. A track like “Regreludio” even features some non-screamy bits from the band's howling frontman, which is a welcomed paced after so much of his voice in my ears. At least he's got spirit though, which is going to count in spades when these guys take the show on the road.

Getting back to the record, we also get a bit of psychedelic doom (or that's what it seems to me at least) in “Alamut 2112” which seems to continue into an untitled instrumental piece towards the end. If I could sum the whole thing up, I would basically consider Chronic Hangover to be the kind of band who mix in rock with a little bit of grunge, punk, doom, blues and whatever else they feel is necessary. They're the kind of act that definitely have mainstream potential, but I just can't quite get over the vocal edge. Even so, there's enough intrigue within Mattia's guitar compositions, Fabrizio's thick bass chugs and Charlo's proficient drumming to make this an act worth checking out. Yes, you heard me right – even though I'm not entirely crazy about some of the lengthy vocal howls utilized here on the piece, I wouldn't shy this one away from rock fans due to the sheer amount of effort put into it. It comes in at forty-three minutes of playing time, which tends to stretch out a bit further when you listen to it, for better or for worse (depending entirely on the listener.) Go listen to a few tracks on their ReverbNation page and give it a listen for yourself to see if you dig it. There are about three tracks from this release here, though I am not sure if they were mastered the same way. Even so, it should give you just enough to chew on before you decide to take the plunge and pick up the record when it comes out later this year.

(10 Tracks, 43:00)


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