According to their press sheet, Giardini Di Miro hail from
a small village close to Reggio Emilia, Italy, where Vladimir
Lenin has been Honorary Mayor since 1917. And apparently this
is their third album, following Rise & Fall Of Academic
Drifting in 2001 and Punk…Not Diet in
2003. But as I'd not heard them before, I can't comment on
what those previous albums sound like or whether it's true
that their sound has changed a lot of over the years. I can,
however, state quite categorically that Dividing Opinions is
one of the best releases I've heard this year.
The album opens strongly with the title track, with its distorted guitars, thumping drums and strong melody, before a more broken beat pops in to make things really interesting. Cold Perfection has a tasty Johnny Marr-like melodic guitar intro and neat harmonies before things get really thrashy, whilst Embers has a slight My Bloody Valentine feel.
July's Stripes opens like something from the classic Electric
Music For The Mind And Body LP by Country Joe & The Fish,
before eventually building beautifully to a somewhat MBV-like conclusion.
It's strangely moving as the band thrashes away whilst a two note bass
riff holds it all together. All in all, a pretty magnificent track.
Spectral Woman calms things down with its finger picked intro and drum machine, though in truth this is probably my least favourite track on the album. But, Broken By soon gets things back on track with its jangly guitars and rousing chorus. This is like Sigur
Ros if they'd been a shoegazing band.
Clairvoyance follows with quiet strings and moments of real beauty, whilst Self Help is a less immediate number that, with its violin and under-stated melody, slowly worms its way into your head. Petit Treason ends matters with an extended rambling thrash with screeching guitars and tom toms to the fore, before the ghostly echoes of Dividing Opinions briefly re-appears in the distance. A fitting way to end a truly splendid album.