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a/lpaca: “Make It Better” is the psych-rock band’s debut album out today, March 19, 2021 via WWNBB Collective/Sulatron Records/Sour Grapes

The “beat”, the hypnotic and obsessive footstep that recalls primitive dances, is the fulcrum of Make It Better, the debut album by Italian band a/lpaca out today 19 March 2021 on vinyl, CD, cassette and all digital platforms via We Were Never Being Boring Collective (Italy, USA), Sulatron Records (Germany) and Sour Grapes Records (UK).

Take the time for the beat and this time make it better“, quoting the title track-single Make It Better, is therefore a refrain, a declaration of intent, a manifesto. In one sentence, a/lpaca tell us about their style of making music and their desire to make music a mission.

On a sound level, but also on a narrative one, the pivot of Make It Better is the rhythm: the record takes place in an imaginary “beat club” which is at the same time a place of liberation, fun, aggregation and which also gives the title to the first single Beat Club. “It’s a physical and conceptual place”, the band says. “It’s physical because it can be viewed through its rooms, its corridors, its dance halls, and it’s conceptual because it represents the topics that permeate the album: the spasmodic desire for an environment to belong to, the will to improve oneself and, above all, the celebration of a youth living music as a saving instrument, constantly looking for a way to leave behind the worries of an uncertain future”.

Starting from the city of Mantua, these inputs are developed by four guys – Christian Bindelli on vocals and guitar, Andrea Verrastro on bass, Andrea Fantuzzi on keyboards and Andrea Sordi on drums – who express their vision of “beat music” thanks to a magnetic and nervous sound. The use of the “beat” has always characterized humanity and has spanned the centuries, changing shapes but not its substance. In Make It Better the “beat” is an impersonal spirit that advances like the cold vocal lines and guides the band towards a sort of artistic emancipation. The beat is also a means of aggregation and purification from the “responsibilities” of the real life and the transition from youth to adulthood. Finding refuge in music or simply going out with friends” (“I wanna get drunk, just keep dancing with my friends“, again from the title track Make It Better).

The rhythm, however, balances with the melody, often entrusted to the keyboards. “The layer of the ‘underground’ rhythm, pounding and monotonous, serves to support a more mobile and almost oscillating melodic component. This union is very important for the composition of our songs; and it is clearly something that we also look for in the music we listen to”. In this regard, a/lpaca do not hide the influences of Make It Better: their psych-rock captures the signals of the Sixties London of Pink Floyd and Soft Machine (also honored in the song I Am Kevin Ayers), mixes them with the Teutonic krautrock of Neu! and Can, and finally updates everything with the modern example of Thee Oh Sees or King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. The result sounds hieratic and adrenaline, rigorous and wild, absolutely irresistible.

a/lpaca have played a lot and given themselves body and soul to improve the beat, previously releasing some EPs between 2018 and 2020. Make It Better was recorded in 2020 by Davide Chiari at La Buca Recording Studio in Brescia. The mixing was done by Marco Degli Esposti, the mastering is by Lorenzo Caperchi. In a world in search of healing, a/lpaca launch their invitation to beauty, to sharing, to dance: “Sometimes I live the past but I know beat is my place”.

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