Yerbadiablo-Jester In Brick Lane
Italy's one-man band Yerbadiablo (that's a mouthful) has left me stranded somewhere in a state of confusion. It's also left me sort of speechless. It's not so much in a good way or bad way. It's more like alright, just where exactly is this thing going as I went from one track to the next (not to mention all the different feelings/styles that can be jammed into just one sole song here!). Over the course of 13 tracks I found myself saying often saying "Huh?", but also saying "Wow!". Again, that was sometimes just as I was listening to one song. The thing is it's (this debut album) just not easy to pin-point what this one is all about, but that's quite good....or at least I think it is. The band/one man project started taking shape in 2010 with "Jester in Brick Lane" being the end result. Lone member/multi-instrumentalist Nik (the Öyster) does a little bit of everything here from the old-school punk rock/thrash rumbling "Punk In-Fashion" to the smooth jazz/AOR cut "Back To The Monkey". So yeah, musically this 13-track release lacks one consistent thing that could tie it all together, but even then it does mostly work. Even if it is a confusing album to sit down and listen to it's actually kind of cool at it's core. Given that I will say that these kind of bands sometime give me pause to wonder. It's just seems as if far too often they go out of their way to throw everything in (punk, rock, blues, reggae, etc.) incl. the kitchen sink all in order to stick out or be edgy. Is that the case with Yerbadiablo? More then likely no. Multi-instrumentalist Nik, who worked on this record with producer Luca Gomedi of High Distortion Level Studio, does seem sincere as he's jumping all about from one genre to the next. With a few guest musicians helping him out (incl. saxophonist/flautist Gabriele Bolognesi) Nik makes the most of what is a different, but nonetheless interesting debut-album. So, while it's hard to read the road map about where exactly this 13 track release is going it all works out in the end.