Album Reviews by Graham Domain

Davide Cedolin ‘Embracing The Unknown’
Palliatives For Dirty Consciences ‘Blankly’
Lua ‘Werner’
(Marsiglia) All Available Now

Deep in the swamps sat beneath the stars hypnotized by swamp gas hovering lights and the mesmeric sound of insects, a lone man sits playing psych blues on his guitar and remembering the past, singing forlorn songs of melancholic joy and fleeting victories hard won. How soon time had drifted by, easy days free from worry soon replaced by the loneliness of life as an outsider. A man cut adrift from his moorings, left to float aimlessly downstream aware only of the sun and the need for water, shelter, food and the basic necessities of life.

Embracing the Unknown is an album by Davide Cedolin, somewhat reminiscent of Mark Lanegan’s blues but without the gravitas of voice – the music a husky longing for something more, a panacea to block out the pain and the cold chill of night! The band a reflection of nature, the vast emptiness and loneliness of the desert, the hot dry heat of anxiety, the tropics – the humid air of a jungle of

indifference, the mountains of emotion too high to climb, the rugged terrain too plain, too human, too hostile to be embraced.

Embracing the Unknown is like a mantra to live, a mantra to think, a mantra to be, a mantra to forgo convention and set out your own stall, insulation and daring riding side by side.

Werner by Lua is an Ambient album of emotive music recorded in Italy during the first Covid lockdownof 2020. It is released in a Limited-Edition Cassette format by the diverse and colourful Italian Independent label: Marsiglia Records.

The eight pieces of music slowly unfurl their charms, beginning with a dreamy piano chord and electronics minimal piece of melancholy, that evokes the ground-hog-day monotony of daily life during lockdown.

The album builds in melody, instrumentation and complexity as it progresses. Naivete and disbelief giving way to a gradual dawning of the nature and reach of the threat. The unfolding flowers of science-fact eclipsing the unreality of the previously perceived science-fiction.

Reality, death and fear however, soon become too much and the music veers into the relief of escapism and adventure. New Worlds to explore, dimensional travel and space-time shifts.

‘Nuova Cura’ is the standout track – a chilled space-warp of a tune sounding like Chick Corea flying high and unshackled. Strange pink misted synthesizer shapes emerge from the primeval dust of dead stars. New life, energy re-fashioned, a galactic super nova beginning to stretch out and boogie.

The album gets better with repeat plays as it progresses from minimal piano chords and electronics, through orchestral and space music, to a kind of futuristic world music performed by machines, half -asleep and dreaming! Hope bringing colour back to the Cosmos!

Imagine a world where honesty, sensitivity and emotional intelligence are seen as essential qualities for politicians and all those employed in positions of power and influence. Imagine a world where people with a temperament of calm reasoning are seen as strong leaders, rounded individuals, lauded for their

ability to communicate openly, honestly and effectively with all others. Their thinking and reasoning clearly visible for all to see. Leaders, able to negotiate and reach sound reasoned agreements for the benefit of all. In this world, everyone has their own individual talents and abilities recognized. Their own

skill set and sense of self-worth encouraged and developed so that they can be themselves and earn a living doing what they enjoy and are good at, without being judged and measured against others. Imagine a world where everyone is valued by society for being themselves, whatever their capabilities.

Now consider the real world, the types of people elected into positions of power – the greedy, the self-seeking – out to line their own pockets, those indifferent to the suffering of others. Every country elects such leaders. We all elect the egotist, the bully, the purveyor of his ‘own success at any cost’ and to hell with the consequences. Those that gleefully tread on the poor, the ill and the weak!

Blankly is an album that holds up to the light – the absurd nature of modern society! The very name of the band meaning the provision of pain relief for the masses, without addressing the cause of the pain! The rotting corpse of liberty drugged and with perpetual brain freeze, unable to think, distracted and hypnotized by technology.

The disease that is the fucked-up modern world itself, manipulating you and me to fall in-line, believe the lies, endorse the lies, spread the lies! If we don’t play the game, we will end up poor, ill, homeless, we will become the waste product of society. Fear is the key!

Hailing from Italy with the current album released on Marsiglia Records, the band Palliatives for Dirty Consciences are a tight unit with great guitar work, taut bass lines and tunes to rival the bands they are undoubtedly influenced by – Wire circa third album 154, Pale Saints, The Sound (1981), Comsat Angels, Joy Division, The Chameleons, The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees and even Sigur Ros. Their overall sound is akin to the great indie bands from around 1980 – the original New Wave bands (now termed Post Punk). Have a listen to the song ‘Back Home’ for an idea of their sound and originality.

Make no mistake, this is a great album. If the band were American or from the UK they would undoubtedly be attracting great reviews and playing all the festivals this summer.

Welcoming the newest contributor to the Monolith Cocktail fold, musician and artist Graham Domain joined our team earlier this year. The offspring of Scott Walker and David Slyvian, Graham has charmed us with his plaintive adroit music for years, and so we’re happy to have him on board.

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