Band: Paolo Baltaro
CD Title: Live Pillheads
Label: Banksville/Musea (2018)
Rating: Some prog and a bunch of other styles, makes this release not for everyone
If you follow modern sounding Italian Progressive RockPaolo Baltaro should be on your radar. Baltaro came on the scene in the mid-nineties playing bass and keyboards with the band Arcansiel on their third and final album. He then moved on to Societa Anonima Decostruzionismi Orrganici for four albums. In between then and now he has been extremely active behind the scenes on a number of Prog or Prog-related projects. He currently resides in London. Now here we are with Baltaro’s third solo album Live Pillheads with him picking up the guitar instead of the bass. As the title more than implies this is a live album that showcases his new band The Pillheads. Musically it’s a natural outgrowth in many ways to his previous musical efforts being a stewing cauldron of all things rock, blues, psychedelic, Prog and jazz. At just over sixty minutes, the live performance features ten compositions on the CD including the Arcanseil track “Angel of March” [12:15] and an interesting reworking of Syd Barrett’s “Bike” [5:52]. Every-so-often his music hints at early Pink Floyd and then we might hear a bit of early Savoy Brown. With Baltaro on guitar you can expect to hear it more up-front in the mix, sometimes just rocking out and other times filling out the mix. In the end it’s really hard to pin down a musical style or approach as Baltaro’s musical vision seems to be to mash up his influences. It’s a fascinating collection of songs with perhaps a little bit of something for everyone. Has he reached too far? Hard to say; you’ll have to listen for yourself to determine that.