Sunday, 21 April 2019


We have a bunch of cool recent releases from Area Pirata Records (the home of Italian Garage Rock) to tell you about. Spanning the Garage Rock/Psych spectrum from the classic British Mod/Freakbeat, European Psych Pop, R&B, and Nuggets influenced groovy sounds of Tony Borlotti E I Suoi Flauers, I Mitomani Beat and The Backdoor Society through the Psychedelic world of The Trip Takers to the slick modern Garage Rock of The Kaams these records more than show how vibrant the current Italian Garage/Beat scene is. Dig it People.

We were first introduced to Italian Garage/Beat obsessives The Trip Takers via their self titled 2017 debut EP/mini album. By eschewing modern recording techniques they created an authentic vintage lo-fi analogue sound, revisiting the classic mid 60s proto-Nuggets era of American Garage/Psych with six tracks that channeled the slightly shambolic records by “British Invasion” influenced bands such as The Groupies, The Velvet Illusions, The Inmates, The Cave Men and Satan & The G Men. While side one was firmly inspired by early Beat bands, side two saw The Trip Takers exploring wonky mid 60s Psychedelia and sounding not unlike the acid drenched strangeness of Nashville Psych Pop outsiders The Sufis. You can read our original Strange Things Are Happening review here………......

Since the release of the debut EP, The Trip Takers have spent the last few years gigging and playing Garage/Psych festivals around Europe, gaining new fans along the way with a brand of Garage Psych that has been described as suspended in the limbo between the conservatism of vintage sounds and the genuine and sincere "revivalism"" honing their retro Psych sounds ready for their first full length LP. Don't Back Out Now is a lysergically infused rush of 60s swirling Psychedelia from a band totally at ease with lifting a whole host of influences from the Nuggets era bands and from the parts assembling an excellent LP of songs that any discerning vintage PsychHead will love and cherish. The first thing you notice about this record is that The Trip Takers have really found their groove. The experimental strangeness of the first EP has been stripped back and the 60s Psych Pop influences have been pushed to the fore. Mining the same rich groovy sixties seam as the The Sonic Dawn and other like minded bands, Don't Back Out Now inhabits the world of the first wave of Psychedelic beat groups inspired by The Beatles, The Byrds and Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann recorded short, sharp, tripped out singles that where laced with a heavy dose of pop sensibility. Opening with the West Coast jangle of ‘Let Me Sail’, The Trip Takers tear through 10 tracks of scintillating sounds, channelling The Chocolate Watchband, The Electric Prunes, The Golden Dawn, 13th Floor Elevators, The Music Machine among others into a collection of songs that relive the first Psychedelic era. For fans of classic 60s Garage Psych, this is more than worth a listen. Available on vinyl only, you can check out/stream the record here………

The Backdoor Society are another band that take inspiration from a vibrant 60s scene. The music of The Backdoor Society is strongly influenced by the Dutch Beat sound of bands such as the Outsiders and Q65. Out NOW via Area Pirata records, their debut album is the sound of the Amsterdam bars and clubs circa 1966. It’s an album packed full of tight early R&B inspired songs that have echoes of the Stones, The Pretty Things and The Yardbirds finest moments. Full of punchy songs such as ‘Go On Home’, ‘Oh Girl’ and ‘What’s On Your Mind’ and slow burners such as ‘Try To Understand’ and ‘Better Than Me’, it’s a record that mixes the sound of wild sixties R&B with more down tempo Stones-like songs. Available as a vinyl only release, you can check out/stream the album here…………..

Faithfully recreating the Freakbeat/proto Psych Pop sounds of 1966 with fizzing Farfisa organ and fuzzed out guitars, Beat disciple Tony Borlotti has been fronting Tony Borlotti E I Suoi Flauers since the mid 90s. Blending together the sound of classic Beat groups with a splash of Nuggety goodness and added retro pop sensibility they have built a reputation based on their ability to channel the authentic sound of 60s “Beat Italiano. Following a four track EP in 2017, Belinda Contro I Mangiadischi, the band’s first full length release on Area Pirata……….with songs sung in the band’s native language it’s got the unique sound of Italian bands of the era taking the groovy swirl of bands such as the Electric Prunes and ? & The Mysterians mixed with the explosive driving guitars of UK Mod/Freakbeat bands filtered through the lens of 1960s Italian pop music………..however you don’t need to be fan of 60s Italian Beat groups to enjoy this record. There’s some cool stuff here, especially the smart R&B/Mod grooves on ‘Belinda contro i Mangiadisch’ and ‘Lambretta’, and it’s worth checking out if you like the retro sounds of Swinging London with that idiosyncratic twist that European bands added to American/British music giving European Pop Psych such a distinctive feel. Available on CD and vinyl, you can check out/stream the album here………..

With a similar vibe as the Tony Borlotti E I Suoi Flauers LP, but having more of a mixed bag of influences, the second album by I Mitomani Beat dives headfirst into the sounds of the sixties. Mixing together Psychedelia, classic Garage Rock, tough R&B and sharp Mod/Freakbeat flavours, Figli Dei Figli Dei Fiori is a kaleidoscopic blast of “Beat Italiano”. I Mitomani Beat raise the stakes with a supercharged cover of the Nuggets classic ‘Lies’, originally by the Knickerbockers, and the swirling psych out ‘L'Orologio’…………’L'Orologio’ is a riot of Doors style organ, fuzzed to fuck guitars, Theremin, groovy drums and rolling bass lines mixed with great harmony vocals and at nearly 5 minutes running time it’s the longest and most tripped out track on the record. It’s not the most original sounding record (but that’s really not the point) but it’s a solid album with enough groovy tunes to be worth your time and has a couple of real killer songs that are well worth the price of admission alone. Out NOW on CD, you can check out/stream the album here……………..

Outta Bergamo, Italy, The Kaams are a very modern sounding Garage Rock/Blues Rock band that although have traces of 60s/70s influence in their music they now have more in common with the early 2000s NYC Garage Rock explosion. Kick It is their second LP for Area Pirata and since their 2014 album, One To Six, they have evolved from a raw and loud Garage Punk band to a slicker, more radio friendly outfit. Kick It still has its moments of Garage Punk urgency with tracks such as the R&B stomper ‘My Destiny’, ‘Don't Forget My Name’ and ’Dark Days’ which cops its riff off The Clash. There is one absolute killer tune on this record..unlike any of the other songs on Kick It, ‘Follow The Sun’ is a slow burning, swirling Neo-Psychedelic Raga Rock wig out which closes the album……..longer and looser than anything else here, The Kaams channel the 80s Paisley Underground to stunning effect. Available on vinyl and CD you can check it out/stream it here………….

All these records are out NOW and available to buy direct from the Area Pirata web site or from the usual on line traders.