Review: Zolle ‘Rosa’

The Italian scene is as diverse as it is impressive, if there’s a specific genre of music that you particularly enjoy, there’s at least three bands doing it the right way and one that is just super famous because they appeared on Metal Hammer or Rock Hard at some point. And the way Italians take a niche genre to create something outlandish, yet interesting enough to long for more, you cannot ignore it.

Zolle 'Rosa' Artwork

And on the list of Italian bands that keep delivering impeccable tunes whilst wondering what the hell is inside the tortellini they ate as children, Zolle is up there as far as I’m concerned. For those who don’t know who they are, they’re a duo comprised of Marcello (drums/vocals) and Stefano (guitar/vocals) and hail from Bruzzelle, a small town between Milan and Bologna, where they have been doing a sweet mix of psychedelic rock, sludge noise, stoner rock and math rock. Think of And So I Watch You From Afar, Earthless, Zu and Cleft, but heavier, and on acid, riding on a haunted carousel. Convinced, yet? Don’t worry, I have plenty of arguments left in my backpack.

The first argument I would say is Pepe, the opening title of their brand-new album, Rosa. It’s also their first single and three minutes filled of exquisite riffs and drum fills. If synergy sounded like something, it would sound like Stefano and Marcello playing it at Duna Jam or Desertfest. That song alone is exactly what you need to start from if you want to discover or rediscover Zolle. It’s also a dancing tune, which is very reminiscent of early Karma To Burn when they were still a four-piece but could also be a theme song for some cheeky cartoon to watch on a Saturday night.

Of course, a lot of songs in this album would be considered as ‘danceable’ or crafted for festivals and hot venue shows such as Pois, Maialini e Maialine or the ultimate earworm of the album Pompon – a title so bonkers that it needs to be listened to be understood. My humble words could never describe accurately how weird, whimsical and catchy this song is, but it is definitely an earworm and a good one at that.

If synergy sounded like something, it would sound like Stefano and Marcello playing it at Duna Jam or Desertfest…

Other songs on the album are also worth mentioning, despite being a bit more adventurous than what you would expect of them like Toffolette e Zuccherini (marshmallows and sweet sprinkles in Italian) that is a pretty cool slow jam and very scenic in a way, almost as if this would be the perfect soundtrack for a modern version of Roman Holiday where Audrey Hepburn would be a hippie and Gregory Peck looking like a 6’5” dude with a giant beard known for playing bass occasionally for a Hawkwind tribute band.

Fiocco and Merda also deserved to be mentioned here as two very whimsical, fun and catchy breakdowns, especially for the former as I got to learn ‘mamma’ and ‘nonna’ as it would be repeated ad nauseam in between two exciting drum fills. I could have made a silly joke about how the song Merda made me think of Marco Materazzi during the 2006 World Cup, but it is irrelevant to the point that I am trying to make here, which is that Rosa is as colourful and mischievous as the colour itself. Confetto and Fiorellino impressed me a little less than the rest, but as standalone tracks, they unquestionably rock.

We need more pink in our lives, whether you want it from Barbie or from Zolle, whatever floats your boat, as long as it’s bright and boisterous.

Label: Subsound Records
Band Links: Official | Facebook | Bandcamp | Spotify | Instagram

Scribed by: Nessie Spencer