(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
Salt Skins And Sugar Floats , 5/10
Get Here And Stay , 6/10
Weekends of Sound , 6/10
Magic Magicians: Girls , 5/10
Nobody Knows This Is Everywhere , 6/10

764-Hero is the project of Seattle songwriter Juan Atkins (ex Hush Harbor). On the single High School Poetry (Up, 1996) and on the album Salt Skins And Sugar Floats (Up, 1996) the band is but a duo of Atkins and drummer Polly Johnson (ex Bell Jar). Atkins' emotional lyrics and delivery are the fulcrum of their stripped-down pop songs. So much so that the longer and more verbose tracks (Pitiful Rattle) sound like musical theater more than rock music. Arrangements are simple but in a subtle way they are not (as in the quasi-classical setting of Gospel Truth).

The duo sounds like a professional combo on the EP We're Solids (Up, 1998). The leading track, Comb The Carpet, is even a rocking number.

The line-up is augmented with bassist James Bertram (of Red Stars Theory , Built To Spill, Lync) on Get Here And Stay (Up, 1999). Atkins is now playing full-blown rock and roll, often with a vengeange (Loaded Painted Red, Ottawa Dropout), although the calm Calendar Pages is still more representative of his persona. Lush and operatic arrangements and complex harmonic acrobatics (History Lessons) unveil the trio's ambitions, which obviously extend beyond the naif ditties of this collection.

764 Hero's third album, Weekends of Sound (Up, 2000), could be their best. A bunch of sprightly, catchy ditties (Terrified Of Flight, Without Fire, Weekends of Sound), a tender ballad (You Were The Long Way Home) and a serious tour de force (Left Hanging) are the highlights equally entertaining and compelling. Among Pixies disciples, 764-Hero may deliver what Versus promised. Polly Johnson is emerging as a subtle and sensitive drummer.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Marina Troiani)

764-Hero e` un progetto del compositore di Seattle Juan Atkins (ex Hush Harbor). Nel singolo High School Poetry (Up, 1996) e nell'album Salt Skins And Sugar Floats (Up, 1996) la band non e` altro che un duo composto da Atkins e Polly Johnson (ex Bell Jar) alle percussioni. Le liriche di Atkins e il suo modo di esporle costituiscono il vero fulcro delle loro canzoni pop. Tanto che i piu` lunghi e prolissi brani (Pitiful Rattle) sembrano piu`un teatro musicale che musica rock. Gli arrangiamenti a prima vista sono semplici, ma non ad una lettura piu` accurata (come nel caso del classicheggiante Gospel Truth).

Il duo sembra un combo professionale nel EP We're Solids (Up, 1998). Il brano principale, Comb The Carpet, e` un tranquillo pezzo rock.

La formazione e` arricchita dal bassista James Bertram (dei Red Stars Theory , Built To Spill, Lync) in Get Here And Stay (Up, 1999) . Atkins a questo punto sta giungendo alla piena maturazione del rock and roll, qualche volta con degli eccessi di vigore, per quanto il blando Calendar Pages sia ancora rappresentativo della sua personalita`. Il lussuoso e operistico arrangiamento e le complesse acrobazie armoniche (History Lessons) svelano le ambizioni del trio che, ovviamente, si estendono oltre le canzonette naif di questa raccolta.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Alessandra Deangelis)

Il terzo album dei 764 Hero, Weekends of Sound (Up, 2000), potrebbe essere il migliore. Una manciata di allegri, godibili motivetti (Terrified Of Flight, Without Fire, Weekends of Sound) e un serio tour de force (Left Hanging) ne sono il culmine, divertenti e convincenti in egual misura. Tra i discepoli di Pixies , 764-Hero potrebbe mantenere la promessa fatta da Versus. Polly Johnson si sta mettendo in luce come una batterista subdola e sensibile.

Atkins' other project is Magic Magicians, whose Girls (Suicide Squeeze, 2001) offers lo-fi roots-rock.

With bass player James Bertram replaced by newcomer Robin P, 764 Hero's Nobody Knows This Is Everywhere (Tiger Style, 2002) offers a slightly more aggressive sound and sligthly catchier tunes (Photographic Evidence, Oceanbound, You Were a Party). The six-minute Confetti Confessional and The Long Arm of the Law are less obvious than the average of alt-pop, and Answers and Skylines boast solemnly haunting textures, but the feeling is that some bands should make EPs, not LPs.

The John And Spencer Booze Explosion (Tiger Style, 2003) is a collaboration between Murder City Devils' vocalist Spencer Moody and 764-Hero's Juan Atkins, who take on a bizarre selection of covers.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Giuseppe Schiavoni)

Il progetto alternativo di Atkins è Magic Magicians, il cui Girls (Suicide Squeeze, 2001) offre un roots-rock lo-fi.

Col bassista esordiente Robin P al posto di James Bertram, il disco Nobody Knows This Is Everywhere (Tiger Style, 2002) dei 764 Hero, propone suoni leggermente più aggressivi e melodie più orecchiabili, (Photographic Evidence, Oceanbound, You Were a Party). Il pezzo di sei minuti Confetti Confessional, e The Long Arm of the Law sono meno banali della media del pop alternativo, mentre Answers e Skylines dipanano solenni trame ammalianti, ma la sensazione è che sia una di quelle band più da EP che da LP.

The John And Spencer Booze Explosion (Tiger Style, 2003) è una collaborazione fra Spencer Moody, cantante dei Murder City Devils, e Juan Atkins, e raccoglie una curiosa selezione di cover.

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