I’ve said this here before, but I’ll say it again: one of the coolest things about being a music addict is unraveling the stories of records and bands and discovering connections that lead to other records and bands, sometimes born from the same womb. That’s how I came to a guy called Mario Hernandez and one of his many projects, Ciao Bella.
Half a decade before debuting with 1, an album that is now playing on our virtual record player, he and the other half of the band, his youth friend Jamie McCormick, released a single under the alias Teeny Hi-Fi; in the following years they continued working together and in 97, with the new name, the duo released it into the world via March Records (home to, among others, the beloved Bunnygrunt) his first and only full album.
1 it’s the psychedelic pop of the sixties remodeled and properly encapsulated in the guitar rock of the 90’s. Part of the same crop that brought the world, e.g. Fun trick noise maker do Apples in Stereoit’s difficult to listen to him and not think of him and his authors as part of the Elephant 6 cast, but as March also follows this path of colored bricks, everything is at home.
The album features Beatlesque vocal harmonies, but also the distortion-laden riffs characteristic of guitar bands of the time (“Sink” and “Party song” perhaps explain it better than my words). Many bands have tried to achieve this equation, few have managed not to sound like pastiche, and of these I recommend a loving listen to Ciao Bella and this only son of hers.
PS: One of these days I’ll come back here to talk about Hernandez, whether with From Bubblegum To Sky or Kids On a Crime Spree, who led me to him and brought us here. Until then!