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Mercutio: Back To Nowhere

Accomplished debut suggests they’re actually going somewhere…

This bunch of ruggedly handsome, London-based Italians have been playing together for two years now, and Back To Nowhere is their debut release.

Setting out their alt-/post-rock tinged stall early on, the opener Shed Your Skin has a powerful, confident swagger to it. It’s not all-out metal for sure, but they can rock out with head-banging ferocity when required, as on Hail The Night, with guitars alternating between crunchy and jangly. Mixing it up a bit, A Part of Me and No Compromise demonstrate that they can do sparse, darkly melodic and downbeat. In Front of You features a guest appearance from Porcupine Tree’s Colin Edwin (a keen champion of the band) and bubbles over menacingly then explodes into a brief rock-rap in the middle section, while album closer Reasons To Erase is a juddering slice of chunky funk-rock. It’s a difficult trick to pull off successfully, but the album contains hardly any obvious guitar solos, but plenty of anthemic choruses, atmospheric vocals, sonic textures and rhythmic diversity taking up the slack. If Muse, Pain of Salvation and Radiohead made an album, it might sound something like this. It’s a very impressive debut.