FOTTUTISSIMA PELLICCERIA ELSA: Self-titled: LP

Another long-forgotten release by a long lost band gets pulled from the early ‘80s void, dusted off, and reintroduced to the world of the living, if only for a brief moment. Virtually nil is apparently known about the band other than that they once called Italy home and, judging from the cassette packaging, weren’t strangers to the whole anarcho punk thing. Make no false assumptions based on that info that you’re gonna get something that lives between Raw Power and Crass, though. No-ho-ho. That would be a mistake. First off, the sound of the whole endeavor sounds like it came straight from a boom box, quite a common practice among the more financially challenged bands of the time, so it’s all cardboard-boxy, with things getting a bit muddy on occasion, no doubt the kiss of death for a modern populace with ears keyed to even the skintest band spitting up something that’s been run through ProTools or some equivalent. The band itself sounds like it’s peopled with folks no more than a few months out from first picking up their instruments, thrashing ‘n’ howling one second, then plodding ‘n’ plunking the next. Yeah, I know, I know, I’m not exactly selling this bad boy, right? Well, here’s the thing: what makes this worthwhile is that it manages to capture the creative process of a band unhindered by commercial expectations, the rules of how to properly make music on an instrument and the “correct” way to write a song. This utter freedom is so fuckin’ hard to come by these days, when even so-called anarchist bands are so busy trying to conform to some preapproved pigeonhole that they end up sounding like one big faceless blob of mediocrity. Is it “good” listening? Well, that’s easily up for debate. It is a poignant reminder of what’s too often lost in punk’s progression from revolt against mediocrity to coveted career trajectory—you can’t truly be free if you care even the slightest if someone else will approve. 

 –jimmy (S.S.)