Not A Good Sign: From A Distance

Defiantly retrogressive Italians hit the mark.

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As with many Italian prog bands, Not A Good Sign are unafraid of placing their 70s influences at the centre of their sound.

The Milanese group’s eponymous 2013 debut was lauded by many because, despite their unabashed nurturing of the past, it was never to the detriment of their current music. The same stands with this follow‑up. Cynics will point to the parallels between Alessio Calandriello’s vocals and those of Geddy Lee, or Paolo Botta’s Genesis-esque keyboards on, say, Going Down, or the jazzy King Crimson nuances that pop up frequently. Retro it may be, but the musicians in Not A Good Sign are skilled and wise enough to ensure that more contemporary elements are firmly embraced, and the resulting amalgam is often delightful. Pleasure In Drowning is an effervescent track that defines their appeal, containing numerous, dizzying changes of pace, all performed with an assured confidence. Flying Over Cities is similarly engrossing, with Botta’s Hammond organ combining with Gian Marco Trevisan’s slick guitar to propel the song. Some of the music is a touch downbeat, most notably on Not Now, but despite all the nostalgic dalliances there’s much on From A Distance to commend.