1980 - Mellow Records reissue: 1993
Formed from the ashes of Dalton, Mo.Do
an album in 1980 that would have been at home
about five years earlier.
Their only album "La Scimmia Sulla Schiena di Re"
is a nice (although too short) collection of songs that
partake of the spirit of the second wave of 1970's RPI,
leaning toward the more pastoral side.
There are several numbers which are up-tempo, and
there is in these songs an undeniable Gentle Giant feel!
This is an unusual source of inspiration for RPI, but the
other typical mellow RPI flavors are definitely there too,
including nice vocal harmonies and textures featuring
acoustic guitars, organs and other keyboards,
and a great rhythm section.
Five of the eight songs are instrumentals.
Some of these are fairly complex in arrangement,
somewhat less so in rhythm and theme.
My favorite instrumentals are "Preludio" and "Grindel."
"Preludio" opens with classic RPI sounding keys and
acoustic guitar, gradually moving into a bouncy,
This evolves into a more pastoral sounding section,
where a flute and bass guitar join in.
Then the keys come back in, paving the way for the
electric guitar flourish, just before the solo keyboard outro.
The three tracks with vocals sound straight from 1975 RPI.
My favorite is "Tramonto" (the others are "Gulliver" and the
This comes from the singer/songwriter tradition, featuring straightforward but solid rhythm, strummed acoustic guitar
over nice keyboards, and some nostalgic vocals, including
classic RPI harmonies.
Overall, this album is a gem in the tradition of classic RPI,
although released in a time when prog had fallen out of favor.
Bravo to them!
Although more pastoral and in places more complex than
their ancestral band Dalton, they nevertheless reach the
heights of their predecessors.
Review by Todd