Little Albert - Swamp King

27 Mar 2020 - Thorsten

Blues-Grunge | Aural Music | Release date: 27 Mar 2020

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Guitarist of Italian Doom-master Messa is following his inner devil and publishes a record full of Swamp, Grunge, Blues and “soul”.

There are music genres that hardly go together at first glance because of the stereotypes in one’s head. Blues and grunge are a good example – the mental image of angry young men screaming their hearts and lungs out into the Pacific Northwestern air in the early 90s doesn’t overlap with the (mostly) African American blues player from Chicago who already performs for 40 years or more. At second glance there is a deeper connection than expected as both genres share a “love” for the broken characters, the inner struggles, the anger, the despair of trying to “find a way out of” or “an access to” relationships. Schematically, there are some similarities too, because of the structure of regular grunge songs often following blues blueprints.

One bigger difference is usually the sound-scape, for the distortion, that makes an integral part of a lot of grunge songs, doesn’t really work well with blues songs. This discrepancy is now bridged by Alberto Piccolo who normally serves as the guitarist for Italian doomy post-metallers Messa whose last regular album “Feast of Water” received lots of appraisal. Under the moniker Little Albert, he will release Swamp King, his version of blues which still is two feet deep in Piccolo’s regular doom-mud. Although the structures are clearly bluesy, the tuning, the reverb and the sound of Piccolo’s guitar form the connection to grunge, and we often see Tad, Jerry or Stone lurking around the corner trying to see how the Italian does it. All of this makes for a kind of doom that one does not encounter too often: great guitar motifs like the beginning of “Outside Woman Blues” turn into good rockers; slow building blues bits add up to slo-mo blues which, of course, is very similar to the arrangement of doom songs (just listen to the slightly punkish “Mary Claire”); the reverb of blues solos is elongated then turning into doom, noticeable in “Bridge of Sighs”.

With a little bit experimentation and the incorporation of some unique instruments (like the unusual saxophone which makes Messa so unique) the next record will be an absolute smasher to get parties going; Swamp King is more like the record you put on shortly after 3 or 4 am, when the party is over but there are still the music fanatics who don’t want to go home, who still need to talk, who could use a new fix. And a good fix it is!