Verdena are an Italian rock band from Albino, Bergamo. They consist of brothers Alberto (vocals, guitar) and Luca Ferrari (drums) and Roberta Sammarelli (bass), but they're often joined by a keyboardist while they're on tour to provide backing vocals and additional instruments. Formed in 1995 when they were teenagers under the name Verbena, they changed its spelling when they found out an American band was already called like that. Their first, self-titled album was released in 1999, and showcased a heavy grunge and alternative rock influence (Nirvana
and Motorpsycho being the main inspirations for their early sound) and a fondness for mind-screwy lyrics
, which hardly, if ever, made sense - the focus being mainly on the sound and images provided by the words, often leading to bizarre results, though they've gotten a bit less abstract with time. Throughout the years their sound has evolved enormously, often unpredictably, culminating with Wow in 2011
, which arguably marked a transition from being an alternative cult band to reaching a wider audience without selling out.
- Verdena (1999)
- Solo Un Grande Sassonote (2001)
- Il Suicidio Dei Samurainote (2004)
- Requiem (2007)
- Wow (2011)
- Endkadenz Vol. 1 (2015)
- Endkadenz Vol. 2 (2015)
The band provides examples of:
- All Drummers Are Animals: Luca. He's a quiet guy offstage, but his drumming can get very intense.
- Backmasking: The last part of "Sotto Prescrizione del Dott. Huxley" is a recording of a religious procession in reverse, most likely just to screw with listeners.
- Careful With That Axe: Alberto generally loves this. His bloodcurling scream in "Was?" is probably the best example.
- Chroma Key: Intentionally inverted in the video for "Un Po' Esageri": the members wear Chroma Key suits while playing in an alley and normal footage of the band appears in their silhouettes instead.
- Darker and Edgier: Requiem is a much bleaker record than the previous ones.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Luca, sometimes. In this article's image he's the guy on the left.
- Epic Rocking: Solo Un Grande Sasso is made of this. Most of its songs were written during long, drawn-out jams and often reach 7 or 8 minutes. "Il Gulliver" and "Sotto Prescrizione del Dott. Huxley" from Requiem count as well, since they're both around 12 minutes long (although the second one has a silent part in the middle).
- Genre Roulette: Wow goes from mellow, acoustic songs to almost Industrial sounding mess to Stoner Rock to New Wave.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: The video for "Luna" alternates between the band playing and shots of random objects. One of them is a rubber penis. "Balanite" is a fairly obscure term for an inflammation of the glans. In "Angie", Alberto mutters "God is gay" (quoting Nirvana in "Stay Away").
- Gratuitous English: All of their songs are sung in Italian, but that doesn't stop Alberto from putting random English words or sentences here and there. For example, "Razzi Arpia Inferno E Fiamme" begins with him saying "Hello, it's changed", and "Il Gulliver" has him randomly screaming "Everybody let's rock!" and "Everybody get drunk!" for some reason.
- Last Note Nightmare: An otherwise calm, albeit dark song, "Rilievo" becomes increasingly creepy and demented at the end.
- Lighter and Softer: Wow, coming after the fairly depressing Requiem and containing several happy, calm songs. The band noted this, saying it was meant to be an "anti-Requiem".
- Metal Scream: A couple of times in "Il Gulliver".
- Mind Screw: Their lyrics, more often than not. "Stenuo" turns it Up to Eleven with a completely nonsensical chorus where the made-up words are treated like legit ones. Yeah.
- Miniscule Rocking: "Was?", being barely 2 minutes long, is fairly short for their standards. Bonus points for being a fast-paced, cacophonic mess.
- Mood Whiplash: All their albums from Requiem onwards are this in spades. In fact, mood whiplash is extremely common for them even throughout the course of a single song.
- New Sound Album: While they've never really made two albums that sound exactly the same, Wow was markedly different from the previous ones, heavily featuring pianos and shifting subtly to a poppier sound (at times).
- Perishing Alt Rock Voice: Roberta in "Ormogenia".
- Pun-Based Title: "Muori Delay" sounds both like "die, delay" and "you die of her".
- Scatting: "Omashee" is sung entirely like this.
- Shout-Out: Oh god, where do we begin...the band is really fond of using shout-outs to acknowledge the various influences and inspirations behind their music: as a result many, many of their titles reference other bands ("Cara Prudenza" is a reference to "Dear Prudence" by The Beatles, "Angie" shares its title with a Rolling Stones song, "Non Prendere L'Acme, Eugenio" is a not-so-subtle reference to "Careful With That Axe, Eugene"), movies ("Solo Un Grande Sasso" is a translated quote from the movie "The Thin Red Line") or novels ("Glamodrama" references "Glamorama" by Bret Easton Ellis).
- "Rossella Roll-Over"'s beginning is a shout-out to "Ob La Di, Ob La Da".
- Before the breakdown, "Loniterp" has a drum pattern that serves as a shout-out to "Sympathy For The Devil".
- "Sorriso in Spiaggia pt 1 & pt 2" ("Smile on the Beach") is a shout-out to the The Beach Boys album "Smiley Smile", a personal favorite of Alberto.
- Significant Anagram: The song "Loniterp" was inspired by Interpol, so the title is an anagram of their name.
- Step Up to the Microphone: In "Omashee" Luca and Alberto swap their respective roles. "Ormogenia" is sung by Roberta.
- Studio Chatter: A pretty funny one at the beginning of "Il Tramonto Degli Stupidi", where Roberta says something unintelligible and Alberto replies "Don't talk bullshit!" with a humorous tone.
- At the end of "Passi Da Gigante" you can hear the band members laughing.
- Surreal Music Video: "Phantastica", where the band members play disguised as apes. "Angie", "Caņos" and "Isacco Nucleare" are pretty surreal too.
- Word Salad Lyrics: So much that they've been mocked for the sheer randomness of their lyrics.