When Progressive Rock, Prog, Progressive Music (or however you may wish to name it) had its birth at the end of the 1960s and early ’70s, the place it was most welcomed was Italy. Genesis recorded chart success there before being noticed in the UK. Time passed and around 1976 a brash young upstart answering to the name of Punk, stepped up to destroy the dinosaurs of Prog, the eldest of which were only 8 or 9! From then, with a few exceptions, the Italian music scene became the custodians of Progressive Music.
Pindaric Flights are derived from the Ancient Greek Writer Pindar, and are defined as a literary passage that has no logical connection to the surrounding work or long digressions that become less and less related to the original passage. It would seem they’ve read some of my reviews before! The album is conceptual, based around the ideas of dreaming, depending on the specific scenario: In I Do It My Way the protagonist deals with their fears by fantasising solutions; d distant relationship in Dream Lover; Rock Star dreams, A New World better than reality, or the dream of a lottery win or some other form of sudden wealth in One More Time. Story telling in the progressive tradition, as per the definition, Pindaric with no logical connection.
So where would I place Deception Store within the broad cannon of Prog? They are very accomplished musicians who attempt to blend a variety of styles from those that went before and deliver something that is original with some directional nodding. It also slides comfortably into a stylish pair of Italian shoes to be worn in the American Adult Orientated Rock genre. I can’t fault it other than it is a sum of parts; you have Genesis keys, Pink Floyd guitars, Caravan (Better by Far period) melodies and vocal stylings, some middle-American Styx or their ilk. It’s all very nice, very listenable, pleasant, and several other words had I a thesaurus to hand. If that gives a dismissive impression, it is not meant as such. The music is really good, the blending of styles for a first bite defies expectation. I can and do like every track, but individually rather than collectively. I find myself listening to two or three tracks then desiring a change. It’s as if the album is a collection of singles; I should change my perspective and consider each a short story.
It is a showcase album of different styles with progressive elements. Really entertaining, although I think I would prefer to hear something a little more generic. That is a strange thing to say, especially when we seek variety like Deception Store have offered, but in their variety I have not really developed a sense of the character of the band. It is that character that gets you to revisit on subsequent releases, even though they may try something quite different. The last track on the album is I Do It My Way, but sung in Italian. Here all the character shines through, along with the strength and emotion of the lead performance. Free is a beautiful piano instrumental but elsewhere the vocals are fine, clear and strong. It is difficult for me to pin down what I am missing, but there is something. If I were to sing O Sole Mio, I would ring the emotion from it, the best delivery you can.
In Lifetime, Pink Floyd meets the Kings of Leon. The music is good, Marco Pantozzi’s vocal fine, though I did take a little while to adjust as the intonation is so different, the emphasis changing with language. There are so many hints at who they like, a few possible futures. Rock Star in any theatre is a great track, straight rock, but it delivers.
Roberta Staccuneddu, I guess, has sung often in English. She owns the words and even though the tracks she sings on (I Do It My Way and its Italian counterpart) are not progressive, I really enjoy her performances.
For exploration, I would buy this album, although alternatives might arise first, but this is not easy to dismiss. I like The Watch in English and Italian, same goes for Syndone, both imbuing character and depth irrespective of language, and I will be looking for more Deception Store; a band this musically strong cannot be without character. I feel it’s a great band missing a link. I have also stepped away and sought broader representation of the band; there is over 30 years’ experience, some of which wears progressive clothing better, so please enjoy a very good band performing some exceptional music, but wait and see if there is a follow up to Pindaric Flight that really bares its teeth.
01. Lifetime (3:08)
02. I Do It My Way (4:10)
03. One More Time (3:42)
04. Rock-Star (Meteorite) (3:09)
05. New Bad Day (3:21)
06. Pindaric Flight (7:36)
07. A New World (3:45)
08. Timeline (3:18)
09. Distant Lover (2:12)
10. Close Your Eyes (4:20)
11. Free (Piano Instrumental) (1:15)
12. E Immagino Se (4:10)
Total Time – 44:06
Marco Pantozzi – Vocals
Joe Chiericati – Piano, Keyboards
Stefano Nicli – Guitars
Thomas Ebner – Drums
Teo Ederle – Bass
Mauro Lazzaretto – Backing Vocals
Roberta Staccuneddu – Vocals (tracks 2 & 12)
Record Label: Ma.Ra.Cash Records
Country of Origin: Italy
Date of Release: 30th November 2021