At the end of the ’60s the Rolling Stones were singing, in what would become a masterpiece for the later generations “What can a poor boy do, except to sing in a rock band?” and Cirrone could write, after so many years, “What can three poor brothers do, except to sing together in a rock band?”
Yes, that’s right. The story gave us a lot of bands formed by brothers (Everly Brothers, AC/DC, Bee Gees, Beach Boys, Kinks) and the three Cirrone, Alessandro, Bruno and Mirko. In one fell swoop, they manage to merge these bands in a single, well-knit, solid, perfect concert machine. These four Italian musicians (The Cirrone Brothers and Ferdinando Piccoli on drums) gave birth to their first album, Uplands Park Road just about one year ago, but they have been active on the music scene for almost twenty years – we are talking about people who played at the Cavern Club in Liverpool and in the United States and only God knows how difficult it is for a band from the old Italy to break through internationally.
The thirteen songs (mixed by Todd Burke in LA) that make up the album are actually the result of years spent conquering stages around the world, writing, editing and sometimes rebuilding pieces that have grown hand in hand with the band, with the final contribution of Ferdinando Piccoli who added that “dirty” touch that only a few drummers are capable of giving. Thirteen tracks that, while following a definite train of thought, they all tend to differ from each other; basically because of the versatility of the three Italians, who easily move between the meaner rock’n’roll and ballads on piano, creating sweet and melodious atmospheres, now high-impact power pop tracks, never falling into banality.
Like most of the illustrious band of brothers already mentioned, the strength of Cirrone is in excellent orchestration of vocal melodies. You could spend hours trying to reproduce the sound that comes out of the union of their three voices, but I am pretty sure that the results could not reach that of Uplands Park Road. Based on composition, instrumentals and vocal harmony they find a balance that only three people in which the same blood flows in the veins may have. It is not about mimicking the Beatles or the Beach Boys, no; it comes down to creating characteristic melodies of the band and Cirrone shows a disarming naturalness of overlapping their voices into just one huge sound.
Through songs like “All I Know,” “I Still Remember” and “Here We Will Go,” to name a few, they blend rock with pure pop tastes, dense, warm solos and a rhythm section that rivals many other bands, which seem to always travel on safe rails, sliding through rocky mountains and infinite green field in which Bruno and Ferdinando can play, using accents and tempo changes.
Uplands Park Road is definitely one of those albums that, while technically being a “debut” album, has the artistic maturity and personal relationships built between members as its strongest point. Listening, it is easy to believe that you are in front of a band who has recorded dozens of albums; such is the solidity of each track and the whole album. Brotherhood among the members of the band is not just about their kinship, but it the framework for the album gradually becoming more concrete. These songs are not just single personal experiences, but they are the result of something they lived together growing as brothers, musicians and friends.
Before you dive into the album, a few words on the title track, “Uplands Park Road.” If there is a global supreme authority for music, I would ask for this song to become the official anthem of every musician, to be taught in music schools and to be played before each and every concert. Besides being a great piece of rock, dirty at all the right moments and with a fantastic variation that makes you tap your foot instinctively during the solo, it has lyrics that every member of a band could sing again and again; which is summed up perfectly in the final sentence “I wanna play in a Rock’n’Roll band/I’m not guilty baby they just do not understand/now I’ll tell you what I’m going to do/gonna sell my guitar/I’m gonna play the kazoo.”