Altre di B - Miranda!
Miranda! is the third album from Italian four piece indie rockers Altre di B and their likely peak at this point. There’s a marvelous amount of diversity spread out over the album’s ten songs and there’s never a moment when you’ll feel like they are over-indulging their mandate with the audience. Instead, these are songs with rich tapestries of sound but never wasting a second of the listener’s time is a watchword for each of the ten songs. There’s a mix of instruments that bring these songs off primarily dominated by the trio of synths, guitar, and drums. The drumming, in particular, is produced in such a way that it occupies a significant portion of the mix, but there’s enough of a balance maintained throughout the course of Miranda! that there’s no listeners who’ll feel like there’s some lopsided performances included on the album.
“Pungi” has enjoyed some success as the album’s first single and it’s easy, in one sense, to see why the track rated as a choice for that spot. The opener is, arguably, the straightest rock track on Miranda! and one certain to connect with both indie rock fans and probably older alternative rock fans as well. The band’s talent with hitting on a memorable chorus is exhibited here and their ability to create powerful dynamics within their songwriting and playing is hinted at as well. “Salgado” has a harder edged guitar attack than the opener, but it shares much more space with synthesizers and keyboards in the mix. The result, however, is quite successful. The added grit and gravitas imbued in this song is a near perfect way to follow the opener. The drumming hooks into an irresistible swing with the song “Polilao” and the guitars and keyboards dancing around that beat have a bright, inspired air. It’s one of the most upbeat numbers on Miranda!, musically, and the vocal serves it well.
“Erevan” is another gem. This is a more muted number that makes great use of space and timing in the arrangement, but it also comes with a vulnerability that will draw listeners closer. It’s amazing how, despite their style and band configuration, the band achieves such a live, intimate sound, but Miranda! engages listeners viscerally and leaves you often feeling like the band is performing mere inches away from you. The mix has that much immediacy and punch. “Tapis Roulant”, however, strips away that intimacy for an abrasive and raucous post punk guitar workout that pushes the vocals to their limit without ever once revealing any cracks or strain in the presentation. “Taxi”, the album’s penultimate number, has a restless quality in its playing that perfectly embodies the subject matter of the song. It’s an album well worth hearing and giving repeated plays to because, frankly, you won’t catch all the nuances on the first go-around. The band’s willingness to work hard and grow as songwriters has paid off quite handsomely with Miranda and the next phase in their musical journey is one we all should pay close attention to.