In tutti questi anni abbiamo detto così tante cose, ne abbiam fatte così poche.
(In all these years we have said so many things, we have done so few)
Italy. A country we primarily will associate with pizza and pasta. Then most people would arguably call for red wine, the mafia, Sylvio Berlusconi and his “bunga bunga parties”, football (or soccer for you Americans), the tifosi, Ferrari, Eros Ramazotti, the Pope and the Vatican. There are plenty of things you would associate Italy with but music. Unless you are currently thinking of the before mentioned Eros or Luciano Pavarotti or Verdi or something more suitable to such a proud nation.
It was only a week ago that Italians spent their day at the voting ballots electing a new government and I don’t really want to discuss the flaws of an electoral system that grants every party that gets at least 1% a seat in the parliament, the elections showed how strong communist or left winged politics are rooted within the country. It is only fitting then that we turn our attention to Fine Before You Came.
Italy first popped up in my understanding of an underground music scene a while ago, when I used to visit a website called “punkrockvids“. On that site amateur film-teams would upload videos of punk/hardcore/emo bands playing live. And while most songs posted were from the US and UK, there was one little film team waving the flag for Italy. Particularly Rimini looked on the few videos like it had a club and a proper music scene (Alexisonfire and Thrice were the bands in the videos).
A few years later I had the great pleasure to meet Marco, an Italian running a small label called “Hell, Yes!“. He’s living in Berlin now most of the time but might as well be on tour half of the year – either with his own band “Smart Cops” or as a tourmanager for a lot of other bands. Through him, I learned how DIY the music scene in Italy really is. It is a great pleasure knowing him and learning a lot about music in Italy.
So where exactly does this leave us with this record? It is really difficult to tell you what it felt like when I listened to the album in full for the first time. It is over a year old now. Coming as only their second full length, it just hits you like a brick in the face. The atmosphere the band is able to create is so intense all the way through the seven songs. In the bandcamp tags, the band decided to include “Dischord” and yes, this suits perfectly fine. Rites of Spring have for sure left a mark here. If anyone can remember the Spanish band “Standstill“, take away the weed influence and add some sobriety and anger instead and you pretty much got the idea. I actually sat down to translate the lyrics of the songs after I watched some live footage of the band. The crowd really seems to take the lyrics to their hearts and that really impresses me. One of the reasons hardcore bands stand out from Pop is that they create an atmosphere of unity, of togetherness, a sense of belonging somewhere.
farò finta che va tutto bene quando torni a letto
(I’ll pretend everything is fine when you get back to bed)
The guitars don’t need to break down any walls to make you feel the intensity of this record. A hint of slight distortion combined with the energetic drumming and the playful melodies is enough for everyone to understand what this record is about. I guess it is easier to connect to a record if you do understand what somebody sings about. But these lyrics are so direct and clear, yet at the same time speak in such powerful pictures that you have to fall for them. For me the ultimate highlight is Paese, with its bright guitar entry. Thinking about it, the greatest thing about this album is that despite the connotations that (post)hardcore is very aggressive or depressing, this album never lets you go. I mean it never lets go of hope. The songs either do it through the guitars or with the help of the similar brilliant vocals. You’ll never write a pop song with a voice like that, but you are bloody moving me friendo.
This record needs to be listened to all over Europe, all over the world, because it is bloody brilliant. Simple as that.