Leon : It sounds like an Italian pasta dish but that’s not the case, Premiata Forneria Marconi (or short PFM) is one of the biggest (progressive) rock bands from Italy. When the band started out in 1970 it was quite normal for bands from that region (in the genre) to choose long band names, like Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso or Raccomandata Con Ricevuta Di Ritorno. The translation of the band’s name is ‘Award-winning Marconi bakery’, makes sense right? Since forming, the group has already released eightien(!) studio and fourteen(!) live albums, only one person, drummer Franz Di Cioccio, has played on all the albums. Apparently the band isn’t thinking about stopping as they’re releasing their nineteenth studio album this year, ‘Emotional Tattoos’
Noteworthy is the fact that ‘Emotional Tattoos’ includes two discs with the exact same album on it, one with English vocals and the other with Italian. Since I want to understand what people are singing about I’ve predominantly listened to the English version of the album, the Italian version didn’t do it for me. The music is what you would expect from the group, classic progressive rock like it was made in the earlier days. I have to admit though that it doesn’t sound aged! One of the main roles is for bass guitarist Patrick Djivas who’s always there with some really cool bass line. The rest of the band plays good as well, especially guitarist Marco Sfogli who shows that he’s a great guitar player. De Cioccio takes care of all the vocals, which he does fairly well, but he’s definitely not a world-class singer, he manages though. On the English version he has a bit of an accent, which can make it hard to understand what he’s singing, off course on the Italian version that’s not the case.
I have to say, pretty good album from the Italian progressive rock outfit! Fans of the genre will definitely like the album, people who like the harder side of progressive music will still be able to appreciate it but will have heard enough after a few songs. Bravo!