Italian rockers a/lpaca bring acid garage punk to Ramsgate on May 8th, straight from the darkest depths of outer space…
Whether it’s 60s psychedelia, 70s space-rock or frenzied krautrock, everything a/lpaca create has an undeniable, irresistible sense of groove. Bring it on, we say.
“a/lpaca blends brilliantly late 60s psych with acid space and kraut, wrapped in furious garage-punk energy” – More Fuzz
On a sound level, but also on a narrative one, the pivot of a/lpaca‘s ‘Make It Better’ is the rhythm: the record takes place in an imaginary “beat club” which is at the same time a place of liberation, fun, aggregation and which also gives the title to the first single ‘Beat Club’.
“It’s a physical and conceptual place”, the band says. “It’s physical because it can be viewed through its rooms, its corridors, its dance halls, and it’s conceptual because it represents the topics that permeate the album: the spasmodic desire for an environment to belong to, the will to improve oneself and, above all, the celebration of a youth living music as a saving instrument, constantly looking for a way to leave behind the worries of an uncertain future”.
Starting from the city of Mantua, these inputs are developed by four guys of a/lpaca – Christian Bindelli on vocals and guitar, Andrea Verrastro on bass, Andrea Fantuzzi on keyboards and Andrea Sordi on drums – who express their vision of “beat music” thanks to a magnetic and nervous sound. The use of the beat has always characterized humanity and has spanned the centuries, changing shapes but not its substance. In ‘Make It Better’ the “beat” is an impersonal spirit that advances like the cold vocal lines and guides the band towards a sort of artistic emancipation. The beat is also a means of aggregation and purification from the “responsibilities” of the real life and the transition from youth to adulthood. Finding refuge in music or simply going out with friends” (“I wanna get drunk, just keep dancing with my friends“, again from the title track ‘Make It Better’).
The rhythm, however, balances with the melody, often entrusted to the keyboards. “The layer of the ‘underground’ rhythm, pounding and monotonous, serves to support a more mobile and almost oscillating melodic component. This union is very important for the composition of our songs; and it is clearly something that we also look for in the music we listen to”. In this regard, a/lpaca do not hide the influences of Make It Better: their psych-rock captures the signals of the Sixties London of Pink Floyd and Soft Machine (also honoured in the song ‘I Am Kevin Ayers’), mixes them with the Teutonic krautrock of Neu! and Can, and finally updates everything with the modern example of Thee Oh Sees or King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. The result sounds hieratic and adrenaline, rigorous and wild, absolutely irresistible.
“Bass riffs drop suddenly, guitar licks appear from nowhere, gone in a flash and never to be repeated. Lose your attention for a second and you may miss a small piece of the jigsaw” – Louder than War
“Organ oscillations, psyche-fuzz and Krautrock machinations, messed up rhythm repetitions and psychotropic sounds… this a feast of freak free-form exuberance” – Rats on the Run