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ALIX - Last Dreamer

  by Adrian Janes

published: 26 / 5 / 2023

ALIX - Last Dreamer
Label: Go Down
Format: Select Format


First album in fifteen years from Italian band ALIX who draw upon past styles of rock to create a satisfying sound for now.

Formed in Bologna in 1997, ALiX went on to release four albums up until 2008. ‘Last Dreamer’ would thus seem to constitute something of a comeback, not least for their musical foundation, with its mingled echoes of the heavy rock of the late Sixties and New Wave elements from the late Seventies. What separates them from mere imitation of bands of those eras is the curiously fragile, almost jazzy, voice of singer Alice Albertazzi: on ‘Anymore’ the effect is like the cool intonation of Beth Gibbons set against a remorseless Black Sabbathesque groove. Plus, if you are going to evoke the past, best do it well, and in Pippo De Palma the band possess a strong and expressive classic rock guitarist as well as a solid rhythm section, crystallised in the resolute riff and pounding percussion of the aptly-named ‘Crash’. Although there isn’t a great deal of originality on display, the band is capable of varying levels of intensity. While the title track is a mid-paced, catchy piece of pop-rock suggestive of Blondie, on ‘Why Don’t You’ Albertazzi passionately declaims in a commanding Siouxsie Sioux style, convincingly enough for you to forget the fact that the question is incomplete. ‘Light Is On’ and ‘Ride Your Light’ are fairly energetic, conventional rockers, though the latter is elevated by De Palma’s guitar and some agile drumming. Meanwhile ‘Empty Space’ successfully occupies a blues-rock groove with shimmering guitar and thrilling dobro flourishes. A more adventurous sliding between moods is displayed on ‘Sweetly Waiting’, where slices of hard rock surround softer verses and once again De Palma conjures up some emotionally arresting phrases. While there are certainly more experimental bands in Italy, ‘Last Dreamer’ and the appeal of Maneskin both suggest that there still exists in that country a relish and ability to play older styles of rock that more self-conscious British and American bands would find hard to pull off. When it’s done with enough verve, as here, it oddly enough makes a refreshing change, especially in alliance with Albertazzi’s vocals. If it was an ice cream, it might be called pastichio.

Track Listing:-
1 Anymore
2 Last Dreamer
3 Ride Your Light
4 Empty Space
5 Sweetly Waiting
6 Light Is On
7 Crash
8 Why Don't You

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