Ashes to Ashes, Borderline

Lenny Kaye

By Lenny Kaye

on 07.03.13 in Reviews
Molten choruses and primal roars with pop overtones

Ashes to Ashes, named after Bowie’s song (and not to be confused with a similarly-titled English band from back in the Aughts that specialized in ’80s tributes), hails from Genova, Italy. They recorded in America, traveling west of West Babylon to the wilds of Farmingdale, N.Y., to cut their debut album, produced by Anthony Lopardo and Ray Marte at Westfall, a Long Island studio that specializes in the harder edge. The band — Paolo Schiavi on lead guitar, Enrico Cabona on rhythm, bassist Stefano Anentodio and drummer Paolo di Lorenzo — propel the siren call of Marta Vassallo, who also contributes keyboards. Borderline builds toward its molten choruses teasingly, holding off the bash until Vassallo has woven her spell (“Alice’s Song,” “Paradox of Perfection,”) and as in the title track, they don’t hold back the primal roar. “Sleep” has pop overtones that meld with a martial percussive resolve, and “Empty Bottles and Tears” offers a magnificent morning-after uplift amongst its massed guitar phrasings. Dust to dusted.