From the Vaults: Sorella Maldestra


May 15th, 2010 by

While visiting my hometown of Chicago, my girl Nicole slapped the SORELLA MALDESTRA LP on and it occurred to me that I hadn’t pulled this out of the MRR collection yet. SORELLA MALDESTRA (translated Clumsy Sister) is part of the zeitgeist of Italian punk bands from the mid- to late-’70s era. Their demo tape, Cadavere, was put out by Harpo’s Bazaar, then Italian Records, Bologna in 1979. In 1997, Flowers of Grain released the tape onto vinyl, which, for us scumbag record collectors, can thankfully still be found. The vocals are raw, just the way I like it, and the music is punk and fuzzed out. The album has some weird audio effects, using synths and crowd cheers in the mix, adding a little new wave flavor. The result is some killer tracks, like their “hit” “Cadavere.” This band captures the creativity that existed in the proto-punk days, drawing influence from Zappa and Stooges rock that was prevalent at the time, while delivering a premonition of the awesome punk-as-fuck Italian sound that was to come. They have recently reformed and have twelve new songs out on a CD called Bad Weather that can be found at www.banksvillerecords.com. I haven’t heard it yet, but what ever your opinion of old bands reforming, their first album is worth checking out.

5 responses to “From the Vaults: Sorella Maldestra”

15 05 2010
KaD (14:14:42) :

They’re like the pekinska patka of Italy!

16 05 2010
jen thunder (15:38:03) :

Mariam,
I just got your Dicktator column excerpt on the language of punk in the mail from my boyfriend- having given up on the possibilities of mrr(punk at large) actually relating to my life/representing a voice I could relate to or engage with, I am totally blown away with resonances and reverberations.
I thought of bell hooks work “Black Looks: race and representation” and “Outlaw Culture” a lot when you talk about the act of resistance in defiant language use.
I couldn’t find a way of commenting on that specific article, or getting in contact with you, so this corny public lil bit will just have to do,
but keep up the critical commentary, it is so inspiring and totally made my day, and means a lot to a lot of folks out there feeling ambivalent about their relationship to punk and identity,
love,
jen

11 06 2010
Kaijah Day (04:06:24) :

I hear Sorella Maldestra are coming to London in August, I’m very excited!
Never seen them llive before.

15 01 2011
KICKS (11:49:05) :

Sorella Maldestra were one of the first bands formed on the wake of the Skiantos.
The Skiantos created the only ever original Italian rock movement “demented rock”: the idea was to oppose to all the deep and pensive Italian singers (the socalled cantautori) using nonsense; on the musical side, it was basicly punk rock. Needless to say, this music can be really appreciated only understanding the lyrics (possibly the most important thing).
cheers

24 08 2011
porfido (04:09:50) :

KICKS got it right.. I could not have used better words.. may I add some ? Skiantos came from the “dadaist/creative” area of the ultrapolitical “movimento del 77” huge youth left wing revolutionary, those who were 19 in 1977 and that gave a great impulse in the revolution of ideas, media, art, music in the years to come. Im my hometown, Bologna we had riots on the streets, and the people that gathered in the streets did something different using nonsense signs (“we are guilty, arrest us all”) with provocative jokes and stuff. A dozen of bands born these years and Gaznevada, one of the best played the whole ramones album in a club (“pankreas”) for 3 days in a row.. Skiantos used to share the same practice room – everyone knew each other in town, they did nonsense, tricks, toy guitars, nudity.. At one concert, they cooked spaghetti instead of playing.. 1-2-6-9 ! (beginning of “eptadone” one of theyr killer song about smack)

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