Album Reviews Sterbus - Real Estate Fake Inverno

Published on 27th October 2018

Sterbus– Real Estate/Fake Inverno


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Musical definitions – who needs ’em? Actually a lot more folk than you’d think. So, this Sterbus thing, what is it? Clever pop is what it is. Starting with the wordplay of the title; “estate” is Italian for summer, and “inverno” is winter, and through the split between the two seasons and associated moods and emotions, with a CD for each, right up to the last notes of the highly-sprung Trapeze, there is a deep pop knowledge and a sharp intelligence at work here.

Drawing on all the right influences ancient, middle aged, and not so old, this double helping of poptastic pizzaz will put the belief back into any jaded spirit that there is a hope that burns bright out there despite the seeming never ending shitstorm of soul-sapping bleeeuuchh we are subjected to on an unending basis in these days of social media dumbing down and governance by inane and ignorant soundbite.

Real Estate is an album of love, that shines through in the lyrics to many of these songs, whether penned by the male or the female half of this irrepressible Italian duo. Having seen Emanuele Sterbini declare undying love on stage to his partner in life and this music, Dominique D’Avanzo [see live review], it is maybe not surprising that a majority of the heart-on-sleeve lyrics come from his pen. Obviously a large serving of the amore on display here is down to the writers’ personal circumstances, but being Italian and romanticism being a national character trope, the uplifting nature of this record is undoubtedly a combination of the two. This sets the album apart from the lyrical angst and navel gazing tendencies of its Northern European contemporaries on the pop-for-brainiacs scene. All this whimsy is held in check by third and essential member of this combo, the former Cardiacs’ skin-basher Bob Leith.

While Real Estate is a Frisbee skimming across summer’s beaches between playful lovers, all wrapped up in a thoroughly enjoyable poptastic blanket, Fake Inverno is a more considered affair. The Waterloo Sunset to CD1’s Victoria if you will. Less brash and bouncy, we start with a Latin incantation of all things, something went awry in 1347 it seems. Winter is an introspective season, but Fake Inverno cannot completely restrain this band’s natural ebullience as the full-on punkarama of Stoner Kebab bears witness.

The many guest players on this album are essential ingredients to a cocktail of all kinds of delights, and their added and occasionally exotic instrumentation gives the songs a depth that can only be missed in a live setting. This is a studio album and there’s nothing wrong with that as the band that kick-started this pop thang, at least this side of the Pond, proved again and again.

Real Estate/Fake Inverno covers many bases over its combined 73 minutes, and is wisely split into two albums, as it would be a lot to take in on one CD. If you have a liking for classy pop, this is the “feel good album of the Autumn” you have been waiting for!

TRACK LISTING
Disc 1 – Real Estate

01. Fall Awesome (4:41)
02. Maybe Baby (4:14)
03. In This Grace (3:58)
04. Prosopopeye (5:15)
05. Home Planet Gone (4:32)
06. Razor Legs 04:07
07. Emy’s Fears (4:10)
08. Shine A Light (5:52)

Time – 39:45

Disc 2 – Fake Inverno
01. Adverse Advice MCCCXLVII (1:32)
02. Little Miss Queen of Light (Willow) (4:13)
03. (Maybe I’m a) Lioness (4:24)
04. Mate in 4/4 (4:04)
05. “Real Estate / Fake Winter” Reel (3:59)
06. Stoner Kebab (3:31)
07. Micro New-Wave (4:16)
08. Trapeze (4:39)

Time – 33:27

Download Only Bonus Track:
Blackducks on Parade (3:18)

Total Time – 76:30

MUSICIANS
Emanuele Sterbini – Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass, Axoloti, Melodica, Strings, Synth, Shaker, Digital Hand-Claps
Dominique D’Avanzo – Vocals, Clarinet, Flute (cleaned and distorted)
Bob Leith – Drums, Lead vocals (Bonus track), “Bollocks!” (Shine A Light)
~ With:
Sauro Berti – Bass Clarinet
Carlo Schneider – Alto Sax
Riccardo Piergiovanni – Piano, Mellotron, Strings, Marimba, Electric Piano, Organ
Francesco Grammatico – Trumpet, Piano, Axoloti, Backing Vocals, Slide Guitar, Guitar Arpeggio, Synth
Noel C. Storey – Harpsichord, Piano, Reg
Charlie Cawood – Sitar, 12-string Acoustic Guitar, Electric Zigzag Guitar
Elisa Raho – Celtic Harp
Andrea Salvi – Flute Solo
Claudio Cavallaro – Clarinet
Adrian Beckwith – Piano
Jurgen Verfaillie – Stunt Guitar Epic Solo
Johnny Dal Basso – Harmonica Solo
Matteo Bertolini – Glockenspiel
Brenda Gaga – Tambourine, Synth Sweep, Shaker, Triangle, Bongos, Vibraslap
Oslo Port – Finger Snaps, Birds Chirping
Hannah Maher – Xerxes
David Sheridon – Blues Guitar Intro
Debz Joy – Lead Vocals ((Maybe I’m a) Lioness)
Emanuele Binelli – Vocals
Moira Ceccaroli – Backing Vocals
Nick Prol – Backing Vocals
Francesco Chini – Backing Vocals

ADDITIONAL INFO
Record Label: 7 Million Watt Records
Country of Origin: Italy
Date of Release: 23rd September 2018

LINKS
Sterbus – Facebook | Bandcamp

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