January 31, 2023
In an age of cheesy pop hits from a handful of artists with permanent residency on the Billboard Hot 100 (I love you, Taylor Swift, but I’m staring at you), the United States lacks a little music. more angst and black eyeliner behind her.
Italian rock band Måneskin are lucky enough to be mainstream, as the general music-listening population tries to answer the never-ending question: What is rock and roll?
Of course, the group’s appearance is the epitome of rock. For the band’s four members, there’s a certain smeared-makeup-skin-show sexiness that evokes rock ‘n’ roll at its simplest, cartoonish form. Each member’s appearance begs the question: Do all rock stars need to look perfect and flawless all the time? Måneskin frontman Damiano David’s recent buzzing head seems to say yes.
Måneskin, who rose to global fame after winning the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest in Italy with the song “Zitti e Buoni”, may soon be seen as the new savior of rock and roll. But if the band’s latest album is anything to go by, rock ‘n’ roll still has a ways to go before the death rock stars have been lamenting for decades.
Released on January 20, “RUSH!” It is the band’s third studio album and their most ambitious effort yet, featuring 17 songs, only three of which are in the band’s native Italian. If the album title is any indication, “ROSH!” are a fast-paced whirlwind of lyrical rock tropes and commercial stadium tour-ready riffs that, while not offering much in the way of reinventing the rock sound, make for a perfectly bitter bedroom song.
“HURRY UP!” may not be a breakthrough album in terms of musical inventiveness, it’s a force for cohesion and storytelling. Throughout the album, David sings about a rock star world filled with ’90s supermodels, stolen Basquiats and ex-lovers. In the background, the other three band members – bassist Victoria De Angelis, guitarist Thomas Raggi and drummer Ethan Torchio – contribute equally to the narrative on their instruments.
In addition to the allure of weird rebellion reflected in the album’s storyline, Måneskin is aware of the extent to which his latest album satirizes the most recognizable parts of the rock genre. On the track “KOOL KIDS”, the band members reflect on their place in the world of rock and roll: “Honestly, I don’t give af-k.” Similarly, “BLA BLA BLA” is another ode to the album’s sloppiness – David has a hard time singing the song, let alone singing it, and anyone who has a problem with his “bu-bu-bu-bu” can kiss -bu-bu-but.”
“SUPERMODEL” is the album’s main message that the world could do with a few more rock stars. His words are a call back to the good old days (whatever those were) of rock, when supermodels abounded and rock stars were “easily available.”
Another example of the album’s ability to seamlessly blend past and present is the song “GOSSIP”. The album’s second track, featuring Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, is too pop-y for Generation Z and nostalgic enough for those who were one of Morello’s bandmates with the band. Morello’s incredible guitar skills are hard to miss on the road and blend perfectly with Måneskin’s balanced crew of four.
If “HURRY!” by all accounts, today’s rock and roll is not dead – it’s just different. The album is successful because it remembers its roots but doesn’t over-worship them. Måneskin is nominated for Best New Artist at this year’s Grammy. If they win, it could boost rock ‘n’ roll’s resurgence on the global stage. And if they don’t? This is the rebellious work of a rock band.
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