Rock music probably isn’t the number one export that springs to mind when you think of Italy, even less so the Italian city of Parma – which is more famous for its ham than it is guitar solos and smashing drums.
However, all that could be about to change if Parma-based rockers Celeb Car Crash have their way. The quartet of Nicola Briganti (vocals, guitar, songwriter and video director), Carlo Alberto Morini (guitars, graphic designer and video props builder), Simone Benati (bass, time scheduler and rehersals master) and Michelangelo (Miky) Naldini (drums, booking and anxiety agent) admit that Italy is far from a country of rock lovers, but are intent on bringing their powerful, melodic music to the masses.
They’ve already played gigs alongside Lacuna Coil and Coheed & Cambria in their homeland, but new album People Are The Best Show could see them extend their growing Italian following to rock lovers much further afield.
The band first got together around three years ago, when Nicola invited Miky to meet him and Carlo Alberto to drum on their new record, after their drummer quit just before the recording stage.
Miky told us: “I listened to their new ideas and I was really impressed, I mean it was the best material I have heard in a long time. So we started the recordings of Ambush! (debut album in 2013), and the new band took its first shape. I had to say in that period I was involved in two other projects, but the energy I felt with them was so high that I decided to quit everything I was doing and just focus on this new band. I think I made the right choice!”
We asked Miky to tell us more about the band’s approach, and to give us a lowdown on the Italian music scene.He said: “We don’t have any kind of influences from our hometown, we constantly look at countries like US and UK where the music we love originally started. We come from a place in which nobody helps you in doing what we are trying to do, which gave us the strength to try even more to achieve the result.
“Despite this situation we have a lot of good rock bands here in Italy, the majority of which are playing hard rock or metalcore. We are a rare bird in the Italian rock scene, there are really only a few bands that have the 90s taste we have.”
As Miky alludes to, the Italian quartet have been heavily influenced by the American rock elite of the 1990s, from Soundgarden and Alice In Chains to Nirvana and Foo Fighters, and that sound is clear on second album People Are The Best Show.
It kicks off in fine style with Let Me In, which begins with a little guitar riff before launching into heavy guitar chords and a big scream, which develops into a fast-paced romp of rocky riffs, flowing vocals and big choruses. Check out the video below:
That’s followed up by Because I’m Sad, which starts off slowly but builds thanks in part to a crescendoing drum roll and soon launches into a big chorus. The Whereabouts wouldn’t sound out of place on a Foo Fighters album, while the longer the album progresses the more the band’s Soundgarden influence becomes increasingly evident. Case in point is the cool, laid-back Outdone, which features a funky repeated guitar riff supporting a meandering vocal line that has shades of Chris Cornell at his finest.
The pace is picked up with the excellently named Murder Party, with a fast, heavy guitar opening followed up with quick vocals, which are eventually imitated by a guitar riff. The chorus is followed by a burst vocals and guitars that shows the band at their heaviest best, and the album gets heavier as it progresses.
Stereo (The Body Of Christ) opens up with a burst of guitar, bass solo and then big guitar chords before launching into another pacy verse, followed by a really enjoyable call and answer section between the vocals and guitars. The melodies of Hangin’ On A Rope are really fun, with big guitar riffs under an unusual vocal line – but they somehow make it work. And there’s some equally cool guitar riffs in penultimate track Nothing New Under The Sun – which again is very Soundgarden-esque in the vocal delivery.
If you like big riffs and good old singalong rock tracks then we think you’re going to enjoy this offering from the Italian rockers. Discussing the album, Miki said: “We like to write about human feelings, and I think that in PATBS the key theme is love and all the private situations we experienced.
“We’re influenced by all kinds of good music, from dance to heavy metal. Each of the four of us has different influences, for example I really love Metallica and Nine Inch Nails, while Nicola is a great fan of Kings of Leon, Simone loves Faith No More and everything Mike Patton has done during his career, and Carlo Alberto always listen to Kiss, AC/DC and Pearl Jam.”
Celeb Car Crash are currently touring in Italy, and 2017 promises to be an exciting year for the Italians with a gig at the O2 Acadamy Islington on March 3rd, with more to be announced in Europe.