Having overdosed on psychedelic rock as a teenager, hearing its return in the hands of Sicilian songwriter Carlo Barbagallo leaves me flat. He plays all the instruments himself and is rather eccentrically skilled as an arranger, and as a warped spatial sound purveyor. To a degree his writing is better than those he imitates: The Beatles, Pink Floyd and King Crimson. Actually, scratch King Crimson – Barbagallo’s wielding of the guitar has a long way to go before reaching the precision and ingenuity of Fripp.
The two genuinely surprising tracks on the album are ‘Motion Reprise’ and ‘French Road’. Both feature stripped back guitars and a cyclical sound that wobbles gently through space. They have all the ambiance of the psychedelic, without the uber-cool strutting and psycho-probing lyrics that seek to elicit interpersonal nuance. Overall, if you are seeking a contemporary solo performer of the psychedelic rock mode, this sixth album by Carlo Barbagallo could easily suffice.