Title - 'From a Distance'
Artist - Not a Good Sign
It has to be said that if you have never heard of Italy's Milan-based band Not a Good Sign that, well, it's actually not a good sign! For they are incredible, simply magnificent in what they do - and that's bring a worldwide following to their musical doorstep by simply creating catchy, dynamic, dystopian versions of prog-rock merged with pure rock.
Hence, their sophomore album, From a Distance admittedly doesn't stray too far from their self-titled 2013 debut, but does actually enhance, bring more depth to their brand of 'old school' Prog culled from the 70's. Modernized, for sure, From A Distance, complete with its resonant vocal melodies and in-depth, scene setting lyrics, is a 10 track album that is as welcome today as it would have been back in the days of flares.
From A Distance - man, I've got to get that damn Bette Midler song out of my head every time I write the album title - combines everything that made that debut so welcoming, so inviting, so successful and adds new orchestral developments, new sweeping moments of both hard rock and psych. What is spawned is a mammoth musical undertaking that, on paper might well have seemed like something unobtainable. And yet, here on FAD, everything comes together just perfectly.
For those not in the know, Not A Good Sign was born in 2011 by Paolo "Ske" Botta and Francesco Zago (Yugen) along with producer Marcello Marinone, but here in 2015 for this new album, the band has added a new member to the fold. Not a Good Sign have brought in the immense guitar playing of Gian Marco Trevisan, replacing founding member Zago - who left the band after the recording of FAD. Not A Good Sign is then rounded out by Alessio Calandriello (vocals), Alessandro Cassani (bass) and Martino Malacrida on drums.
Here on this new album, the five-piece is accompanied by Maestro Maurizio Fasoli (Yugen) on the piano, Eleonora Grampa on oboe and English horn, and Jacopo Costa on glockenspiel and vibraphone.
That change aside, as that truly only effects the live shows that will now spring forth this summer as the band take this album on the road (see dates below), for those wondering re: Prog rock, FAD doesn't feature long suites, no endlessly sprawling hills and valleys are musically realized here. Instead, we get those aforementioned ten tracks that melodically merge within each other to produce the finished work of art known as, of course, From A Distance.
March 1st - Arlecchino Club (Vedano Olona - Varese)
March 2nd - Live Unplugged Radio Lombardia
March 13th - Floyd (Legnano - Milan)
March 27th - Musicolepsia (Melegnano - Milan)
May 29th - live unplugged Radio Cernusco Stereo
August 20th - Crescendo Festival (St. Palais sur Mer, France)