Wacky Southern Current - 6

8 songs
39:39 minutes
***** **


Two years ago I didnít find the time to review Wacky Southern Currentís fifth album Todayís Embrace, but as I am a friend of persistence, and seeing how Marco Cervellin, the artist behind this strange name, decided to send me the link to his new album, simply titled 6, I decided to give it finally a go. My next surprise came when I went on to like the band on Facebook and noticed that I was only the second guy to do so. Is WSC really so little followed on social media? But donít worry, there is more information to glean from their Tumblr site.

Started in 2008, Wacky Southern Current is more or less an instrumental solo project by Marco Cervellin who plays all of the instruments, but who is at times joined by Gianni Garbo on guitar. The music itself is very contemplative, comes with a definite soundtrack atmosphere, but is still tangible enough to be more than mere ambient soundscapes. There are elements of post rock, kraut rock and progressive rock, with some hints of jazz and yes, even disco, but all of it in a very laid back downbeat tempo to give the eight compositions a very serene aura.

Letís start with the opener Unda Maris, with six and a half minutes the longest track on the album. It begins with a mellow organ chord and some piano tinkling, sounding like an old QChord, before a whining guitar joins over a 3/4 beat. Later on there comes an arpeggio melody, also played on guitar, and even some distorted guitar which is adding some punch to the tune. The general theme never changes, making this some kind of Tubular Bells-like track where Mike Oldfield also kept the same melody but always added new instruments. And so it continues, with all of the songs having their merits, although some more than others. The better material stands out due to its emotional depth, like for instance Turn Up For The Rush which comes with an incredibly sad melody. The interaction between keyboard and electric guitar is quite a goosebumpy affair. Not everything always works though, like Jazz Scene which in itself is a good piece of songwriting, but the synthetic guitar makes the first part of this six minute track quite awkward, although the latter half makes up with some nice Gershwin styled touches.

When it comes to solo affairs, there are definitely worse bands than Wacky Southern Current. The major problem lies between Marco Cervellinís tremendous songwriting ideas and a certain lack to give them a more rousing instrumental performance. I do not have the keenest ear, but I bet the drums are programmed, and while they do a good enough job and donít sound too clinical, they lack the little mistakes that give a live drummer their persona. And yet 6 has surprised me a much more pleasant affair than I ever dared to expect. Fans of mellow arty soundtrack post rock songs might want to dive headfirst into the sonic universe of Wacky Southern Current.

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