B For Bang – Rewires The Beatles – KML Records

by | May 18, 2011 | Pop/Rock/World CD Reviews | 0 comments

B For Bang – Rewires The Beatles – KML Records KML 2120, 43:14, [Distr. by Harmonia mundi] ***1/2:

(Featuring Katia Lebeque – piano; David Chalmin – guitar, lead vocals; Massimo Pupillo – bass;  Nicola Tescari – keyboards, harmonica; Fabio Recchia – electronics, drums; Marque Gilmore – drums; Nadeah – vocals; Meg – vocals)

No other musical group has been covered as frequently as The Beatles. Various reincarnations and tributes have attempted to bring a different approach to the most celebrated band of the century. B For Bang, who previously released a CD of Beatle work (Across The Universe Of Languages), has revisited the catalogue. Consisting of sometimes avant-garde classical pianist, Katia Lebeque, alternative rocker David Chalmin, bassist/composer Massimo Putillo, drum ‘n’ bass player Marque Gilmore, modern classical practitioner, Nicola Tescari and electronic artist Fabio Recchia, the ensemble defies any stereotypical label. They are joined by guest vocalist Nadeah and Meg in making an audacious, unconventional record of selected Beatle songs.
    
The opening track (“Tomorrow Never Knows” from Revolver) establishes the independent quirkiness of B For Bang. Electronic scratchy hissing segues into a new wave guitar and vocal by Chalmin. Electronic tones envelop the basic rhythm patterns before finishing in accented coda. Continuing with the psychedelic imagery of John Lennon, “I Am The Walrus” is propelled by the furious chords of Katia Lebeque. There is an interesting jazzy break later in the song that is a counter to the techno-laden singing of Nadeah. “Because” benefits from the classical piano rearrangement and key shifts. Lebeque’s piano solo is minimalist, but not without complexity.

Homage to the White Album is represented on four cuts.  A bizarre twist on “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?” mixes techno-pop and blues with Yoko Ono type vocals.  While the blending of genres is deliberately stylized, the result is very listenable. Perhaps the most unusual cover is Lebeque’s Gershwin-esque rendition of “When I’m Sixty- Four”.  She gets to showcase her considerable improvisational acuity.  “Glass Onion” seems devoid of the introspective sarcasm of Lennon, and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is opaque with metal guitar riffs.
     
The seemingly “go for broke” sensibility comes with mixed results. “I Me Mine” is framed by a dirge structure. The appeal of the Beatles was rooted in accessibility and youthful buoyancy. Some of the energy feels drained. “Get Back” is daring in this edgy rendition, but doesn’t quite capture the Paul McCartney bounce or earnest pretense. However, “Girl” maintains the adolescent plaintiveness in a brooding arrangement.

Rewires The Beatles will undoubtedly affect listeners in different ways. Some might argue that this captures the essence of the phenomenon that shook things up…all those years ago.
    
TrackList: Tomorrow Never Knows; Girl; I Am The Walrus; While My Guitar Gently Weeps; Something; Glass Onion; Dear Prudence; Because; Get Back; I, Me, Mine; Why Don’t We Do It In The Road; When I’m Sixty-Four

— Robbie Gerson

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