Sunday, March 23, 2014

La Massoneria Ramonica e i suoi Adepti vol. 1

Lighthearted punk rock songs that aren't too overthought and delivered in short bursts are a perfect deterrent to boredom for someone such as myself, as a music lover. I had heard a bit about the La Massoneria Ramonica last year and thought their name was cool but after hearing them, also discovered that they definitely can deliver in this style! In addition to a great first 7" entitled Formula 37, they also put out a four way split the same day called, La Massoneria Ramonica E I Suoi Adepti Vol. I. That's what I'll be telling you about today! 

Since this is a four way split, I'm not going to get into each band's recording process however will let you know that the cover was designed by Angelica Zilli, a black and white sketch of the guys facing forward to the almighty 37 temple, definitely tying into the title of the split which essentially translates to "Ramones Freemasonry And It's Adepts vol. 1". (For the literal thinkers: It's not to be taken seriously, ok?) This tongue in cheek nature is part of why I'm quite fond of all things La Massoneria Ramonica! The split was released on March 2nd, 2014 by Monkeyrite Records ran by Pulce from the band, which is an extension of the well known Badman Records who he also works with in the amount of 150 CDs. 

Each band contributed three songs and first up are La Massoneria Ramonica. For those of you not familiar with them, you can expect everything but the serious but there still is an underlying passion in the way they play, gelling the songs into something that's very easy to love. Their silliness at Riverdales speed easily draws me in right from the start with "Ramones Saved My Life" followed by the Rockaway Beach-esque "Marky Ramone's Ice Cream" and "Rubik's Cube" which features a guest lead vocal by none other than Italian pop punk legend himself, Chris Polecat. This is just fun punk rock that is more catchy to me than anything I've heard in a long time and I want more. Well done, boys. Now give me a full length LP to write about!!

Appearing second are the Milan based Drawing Dead. They had an immediate advantage with me when I saw that Robi from another band I really love called Mega(I'll be reviewing their new record soon!) is a member, but that's not the end of positives for them. Vocals are shared by Robi and Dave, trading lead and backing, which makes for a great combination with their differing but equally as good tones. They play off of each other well, like two sides of a coin and keep it interesting. Great pop punk songs that are very 90's style at the core mixed with some updated elements are what you'll find with these guys. I like it! The first song leans towards the more aggressive end on the punchy "Only A Lie", followed by a more romantic one with a great solo called "Sarah Smiles"(this is a cover originally written by a good friend of the band) and their part of the split ends with my favorite of the three "I Feel Alright" for possessing a strong early punk rock/Ramones influence. 

Third in line are the least known to me, The Thirtysevens. The really HEAVY early Screeching Weasel influence they have both musically and vocally is hard to miss with hearing even twenty seconds of their first track, "Agent 13 Is Dead" and it stays pretty prevalent throughout their three songs contributed. The more mid tempo "Time Travel Equation" was the one I liked the best for it's more harmonized vocals. This band really has a lot of potential to grow into something cool and while I'm curious to see if more of their own influence is added, it makes me so happy to hear a sound from my youth that I will forever remain fond of.

Last but definitely not least is the wonderful and longest established of the four bands on this split, Agent Pazz. Around since 2003, this is a part live/part computerized pop punk band that definitely has some true pop influences which can kinda turn me off when most bands try to do the same, but what makes it punk as fuck? It's one guy implementing each of those sounds in a masterful way. This makes Agent Pazz absolutely as capable of standing next to full bands and holding his ground just as well, which I was lucky enough to see in person at a Tough show last May in Rome. He's got two quicker paced songs, "Friendzoned Again" and "Hurricane Jane" that are super catchy but the closing track "Falling Into Disgrace" was the best for me with the brilliantly executed doo-wop backing vocals and an arrangement that's just lovely.

Download it from bandcamp or you can obtain a physical copy, alone or with the 7" I mentioned in the beginning of this review by writing to Monkeyrite. If you are fond of classic pop punk/punk rock and would like to hear the sound having some hope to continue in a world where newer bands tend to avoid it, get on this. All four bands made it something that was easy to add to my collection!

The La Massoneria Ramonica 
JC-Atom- Vocals/Guitar
the IceCreamMan- Vocals/Bass
Polle- Guitar
Boss- Drums
Guest Vocals- Chris Polecat
1. Ramones Saved My Life 
2. Marky Ramone's Ice Cream 
3. Rubik's cube
Drawing Dead 
Robi Tuono- Guitar/Vocals
Dave- Bass/Vocals
Lollo- Guitar/Backing Vocals
King Mob- Drums 
4. Only A Lie 
5. Feel Alright 
6. Sarah Smile 
The Thirtysevens
Paolo (Fonne)- Vocals
Adriano (Cecche)- Guitar/Backing Vocals
Marco (Marky)- Guitar
Federico (Fro)-  Bass/Backing Vocals
Fabio (Bara)- Drums
7. Agent 13 Is Dead 
8. Two Times Table 
9. Time Travel Equation 
Agent Pazz
Agent Pazz- One man army computer powered pop punk since 2003.
10. Friendzoned Again 
11. Hurricane Jane 
12. Falling Into Disgrace