Wednesday, 2 November 2016

BERNACCIA – ALBUM REVIEW

Bernaccia – Growl Peace Belief 
Bernaccia - Growl Peace Belief


Release Date: Out Now

There has always been something primal, something almost mythical about the music created by Newcastle’s Bernaccia and that has always seemed at odds with their urban location. But then you realise that they draw from the raw and bleakly beautiful landscape that surrounds them and how that clashes with city and it all makes sense. In the same way that Las Vegas rubbing shoulders with the dessert has influenced art, the city vs countryside juxtaposition influences music in the UK. This long awaited album, ‘Growl Peace Belief’, is a monolith of a record that stands tall and ominous on the horizon in the same way a celtic marker may have.

Opening with the sound of waves rushing in to shore and a guitar riding on the tide, ‘War Cry’ heralds this opening of this album, soon by the Viking thud of drums and an almost chanting vocal. Sure this is psychedelic and this is spaced out but that primal urgency is there in a way that takes the best bits from the Fall, Kasabian and the Doors. ‘Spiral’ is a tune more inspired by city lights and the promise of a good night out with its pulsing synths and sparse guitar line that brings to mind Primal Scream at their most wasted and hedonistic. Then comes ‘Awake’ and suddenly we’ve moved from the wet streets in to a nightclub with stabbing organs and frantic rhythms confusing the senses as Ellen Chetcuti takes over vocals duties from Johnny Noble to show off yet another layer to their sound.

On ‘Power To The Hills’ Bernaccia reach their primitive peak as a simple refrain is embellished with gloriously booming drums and the kind of native American chanting you expect to hear after smoking too much out in the dessert. Noble’s deep, velvety voice swaggers and seduces in a way that suggests Mr Mojo Risin’ may have once visited Newcastle and had quite a good time a few years ago. Recent single ‘Angel’ fits in perfectly with the rest of the album giving an urgent and slightly paranoid account of itself before ‘Vega’ gets us all up dancing a soft shoe shuffle. The slow cowboy swagger of ‘Murder’ has a truly Tarantino vibe to it while ‘Senorita’ cements the bands wild west credentials with some real tremolo effect guitars playing at the back of the hacienda and vocals whispering in on a scorched early evening breeze.

The album closes on its title track, ‘Growl Peace Belief’, and that water theme is back as the rain falls only to be interrupted by an itchy, impatient guitar riff and the kind of high hat work that suggests something is afoot. The song erupts magnificently before subsiding like a fierce storm moving on up the coast with the words of JFK left on the wind “not only peace for our time but peace in all time”. This album is something special and will last long in the memory for me having lived with it for the best part of a week so I urge you to get a copy and really get to know it, you’ll be a better person for it.


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