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Alessio Natalizia, aka Banjo Or Freakout, boasts the influences of Caribou and Deerhunter, which should have him in my good books practically by default, and yet his debut LP gets me about as stirred up as a neglected pot of Greek yoghurt. The record comes across as a tepid fog of guitar loops, blurred vocals and drifting, sketched melodies. It has a constant whiff of the bleak about it, but not enough to truly qualify as bleak, which, ironically, enhances the bleakness, but, again, not enough.

Apparently, it’s all deeply personal and, according to Natalizia, “…it works when you want to be taken over, encompassed by music, when you’re looking to lose yourself in something,” and perhaps that’s true – having never felt even the slightest urge to immerse myself in a sun-warmed lagoon of aural ‘meh’, I couldn’t possibly refute this particular point. However, if blissful, lush melancholia was what Natalizia was aiming for, I’d say he missed. Meh.

By Polly Rappaport

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