You would think that after ten years in the review business, I’d have stopped flinching at artist names. But, come on…”Wacky Southern Current”? Luckily for us all, Italian musician Marco Cervellin redeems his odd moniker choice with a batch of guitar-fronted pieces that range from folksy finger-pickers to feedback-laced post-rock wailers. Cervellin harshens up the sound a bit in spots with distortion and light electronic treatment, but never to the detriment of the song itself. Argonautica is a decent release, but with several listens I couldn’t shake the feeling that I wanted more out of it. The songs are pleasant and varied, and Cervellin’s guitar playing is excellent. He can absolutely tear it up, as he does on the rocking “We Are Argonauts,” which cuts loose with snarling, prog-like riffs and runs. And he can run the edge of experimental, which is where we find “Padawan,” where dissonant chords, seemingly wayward drumming, and electronic grind fight for attention behind a simple five-note arpeggio. But these are the exception rather than the rule. Little else jumped out to impress me. The release comes across as an easy-listening album with the occasional touch of something more ambitious–and it makes me want more of the ambitious stuff. Definitely worth having a listen, and I will be interested to hear what’s next from Wacky Southern Current.
Available from the No-Source netlabel.