REVIEW: Mamamicarburo – Barcelona

Band: Mamamicarburo
Album: Barcelona
Release: 2008
Label: 4T Records
Genre: Punk Rock

When it comes to music, there is a phrase which I will constantly be reiterating for years to come. “So much talent, so little spotlight”. This recent release by Italian oldschool rockers Mamamicarburo embodies that statement perfectly. Hailing from Correggio in northern Italy, having been playing since the early 1990s and with 4 albums under their belt, this band still only play local shows and have yet to “make it big”. Now the question I put to you in this review is: WHY?

From the strong opening of “Mama Uber Alles” to the rumbling finish of “La Guerra Fuori”, this album is packed full of groove, melody and energy that doesn’t abate even in the slower songs. The guitars are varied and well-mixed, the solos in particular are bluesy in feel and fit in well with the rest of the music, and the bass and drums play their roles well as rhythm section. Both of these instruments even get their moments to shine. The bass in particular plays a role in tracks like “Sesto Senso” and “La Guerra Fuori”, albeit sometimes at the expense of the guitars when some riffs feel buried in songs. The band’s influences are hard to place, ranging from energetic punk and hardcore to a more melodic rock, even branching into post-rock and funk.

Morgotti himself, Italy’s answer to Johnny Rotten, is a brilliant frontman; at once he is a comedian and a singer, engaging well with the audience and the other band members. This can be witnessed in their DVD or on other live videos on YouTube. The vocals on this album are no exception, ranging from a hoarse growl as on“Mama Uber Alles” to a pleasant melodic mid-range on “l’Estate È Sempre Inutile”,and even mixing in a fast spoken-word which at once baffles the foreigner and has the native laughing.
His lyrics* are usually a bit of fun, especially on their older albums, whilst here they appear to have tried a slightly more serious approach. However, they still have time to write lyrics like those in “Plaster Caster”, which sound ridiculous no matter who listens to them. That said, the lyrics work well with the music, as can be seen in tracks “In-sensible”,a more mellow affair than the two tracks on either side of it.

There are a few things that stop me from loving this album completely, production errors aside, which I will outline here briefly. Firstly, the title track is a little forgettable, especially chorus-wise; the gang vocals on “Mama Uber Alles” and “Barcelona” can be a bit off-putting; and the tracklisting could be organized so as to avoid one crazy punk track to be sandwiched between two relaxed rock tracks.

On the whole, however, these issues certainly don’t stop the album from being enjoyable, and if you like what you’ve read so far in the review, then I recommend checking this out.

*I’m told on good authority, not being an Italian speaker myself.

Rating: 7.5/10


6 responses

  1. yes of course we could do an url-exchange 🙂
    nice blog 🙂

    January 23, 2011 at 2:40 pm

  2. I usually find it REALLY hard to listen to music that isn't in English but I enjoyed that, for some reason it reminded me of a soundtrack to a TV programme (particularly an anime series) not a particular one, it just sounded like it would be.
    Nice and easy listening, and a good review too 🙂

    March 7, 2011 at 8:56 pm

  3. @Happydude: Why is that so? Is it something about the lyrics that bugs you?
    And yes, it does sound like AMV music (wouldn't surprise me if it's been used as such). Thanks!

    March 7, 2011 at 10:37 pm

  4. the simple answer is I like to sing along, I'm a terrible singer but I still like to and I find that much more difficult when it's not in english, I also like to understand the lyrics to a song, my favourites tend to be those that tell and story of some kind. The vocalist to me is the most important part of a band, if I don't like the way they sound (for any number of reasons) I don't tend to listen to them.

    March 8, 2011 at 9:18 pm

  5. I like to sing along as well, so I get you entirely, although the lyrics don't play such a role if I don't speak the language…for French, German and Russian that's a bit different, but with others you get to examine interesting vocal patterns. I recently discovered a Basque punk rock song, and it was interesting to study the use of language in it…
    Anyway, what I'm getting at is although the vocalist can be the make or break of a band, don't let the fact that bands don't sing in English put you off listening to them =)

    March 10, 2011 at 8:41 am

  6. No I really shouldn't you're right, I just feel like I'm loosing an aspect of the song by not understanding the vocal, but I shouldn't let that prevent me enjoying the rest of it 🙂

    March 10, 2011 at 8:22 pm

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