David Vassalotti
Guitar Dream

(Wharf Cat)


For pretty much the whole time that his main band (dark-hued, synth-pop, former-punks Merchandise) have been releasing records, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist David Vassalotti has quietly been putting out albums of his own. His is a pretty straightforward agenda, it seems – smoothly assembled, nicely melodic guitar music with no alarms and few surprises.

‘This Extravagant Lie’ is a slow-tempo opening which resembles nothing so much as a Smiths ballad, down to the Morrissey-esque vocal intonation and the grandiose lyrical play (“Don’t keep me waiting when the night comes… / This extravagant lie”). A brass section provides a rich, layered feel to the music, and it sure is a beautifully crafted song.

You could probably do without instrumental vignette ‘The Other Light’, though, which bears a striking but no doubt wholly unintended similarity to the Top Gear theme music, while ‘The Lines Between Us’ has something of the pace and feel of a vintage Roy Orbison tune dragged forward several decades. But wherever he borrows from musical history (‘Let It Burn’ owes something to Nick Cave, ‘What Shall You Say Tonight’ is soaked in the richness of Richard Hawley), Vassalotti does at least repaint it in his own colours, and cloaks it in ever-bright, slightly jangly guitars.

It definitely has the feel of a side project – an indulgence, even – and while ‘Guitar Dream’ is a coherent, polished piece of music – a classic slow-burner if you can spare it the time – it’s ‘nice’ rather than thrilling or particularly moving.

Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines

As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.

Having thought about the best way to support our running costs (the printing and distribution fees, the podcast and production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for works out at £3 per month for UK subscribers, charged yearly.

If that seems like a bit of a punt, you can pay-as-you-go for £4 per month and cancel any time you like. European and world plans are available too, at the lowest rate we can afford.

It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.