miércoles, 11 de mayo de 2016

NOT MOVING - Flash On You [ITA garage 1988]

We’re in the mid-eighties and the underground scene in Italy can boast a large number of bands with an international profile. Above all stands a five-piece band that could easily come from Berlin, London or Los Angeles thanks to their style, look and the raw energy of their live shows. Instead they come from Piacenza, Italy, they're called Not Moving and since their debut in 1982, they’ve already published a couple of singles (Strange Dolls and Movin' Over), two EP's ("Black'n'Wild" and "Jesus Loves His Children") and an album ("Sinnermen"). They play a strange and fascinating blend of punk, garage, swamp blues and dark surf. Many people consider them to be the Italian version of bands like The Cramps or Gun Club. In 1988, just one year after the release of the "Jesus Loves His Children" EP, Not Moving sign up again with Electric Eye, the indie label that first discovered and made them nationally and internationally known, to release the new LP "Flash On You". 

It's the last album made by the band's original line-up: Lilith (voice), Dome La Muerte (guitar), Tony Face (drums), Maria Severine (keyboards). During the recordings, in fact, bassist and founding member Dany D. would leave the band to move to Germany, to be replaced by Milo, an old friend of the group with whom they complete the album. The air you breathe in the studio is not exactly the calmest: personal frictions between the band's members have already emerged. Nevertheless, Not Moving churn out such a powerful record, full of musical nuances that no one can imagine an imminent break up. When "Flash On You" reaches the stores, it is presented in a beautiful cover that shows the group crouched on a bed: Dome holds a giant shell containing the sacred sage of the Native American Indians, to whom the album is dedicated.

Musically speaking, it's Not Moving’s most direct and "sunny" long playing record: their aggressive and imaginative rock'n'roll shows itself openly in a handful of songs where emotional stress is no longer restrained, and energy and creativity are left free to run wild.

From the unrecognizable cover of Sniff’n’The Tears' Driver's Seat (significantly superior to the original), to the hendrixian medley A Pray For Jimi (that gently slips into the instrumental Visions), the tracks take a winding and intriguing path where songs of great impact - Looking For A Vision, Dog Day, Stupid Girl, the beautiful Love Train - are mixed with slower and more introspective tunes (Sweet Beat Angel, I Stopped Yawning). In addition to the nine tracks originally released on the album, this long-awaited reissue also sports three unreleased songs that see the light for the very first time: Sad Country, Honey and Flies, Fool In The Jungle: tunes that give a glimpse of the musical developments that could have been. After the release of "Flash On You" and the subsequent tour, Not Moving implode: Tony and Lilith leave to pursue other dreams, while Dome and Maria (with different line-ups) continue to use the band's name for a while. After all is said and done, it's in these fantastic vinyl grooves that you can hear the real final cut of what, arguably, can be considered the greatest Italian rock band of the Eighties.

Roberto Calabrò
Author of "Eighties Colours. Garage, beat e psichedelia nell’Italia degli anni Ottanta"


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