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Music: Verdena

Verdena are an Italian rock band hailing from Albino, Bergamo. They consist of brothers Alberto (vocals, guitar) and Luca Ferrari (drums) and Roberta Sammarelli (bass), but they often hire a keyboardist to play with them while they're on tour (the most recent one being Omid Jazi). 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. With the release of their first album in 1999, they soon became known for two things: the heavy influence Nirvana had on their sound and the mind-screwiness of their lyrics, which hardly, if ever, made sense - though they've gotten better at it with time. Throughout the years their sound has gotten more and more varied, culminating with Wow in 2011, which arguably marked a transition from being an alternative cult band to becoming somehow popular without selling out.

Discography

  • Verdena (1999)
  • Solo Un Grande Sasso (2001)
  • Il Suicidio Dei Samurai (2004)
  • Requiem (2007)
  • Wow (2011)


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.
  • Darker and Edgier: Requiem is a much bleaker record than the previous ones.
  • 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 messes 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").
  • Growing the Beard: If you listen to their first album and then listen to their most recent one, they hardly sound like the same band.
  • 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".
  • Mind Screw: Their lyrics, almost constantly. "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: Let's just say both Requiem and Wow are this in spades.
  • 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).
  • Pun-Based Title: "Muori Delay" sounds both like "die, delay" and "you die of her".
  • Reclusive Artist: While they're more than happy to appear in interviews whenever a new album comes out, between albums they disappear completely to work on more music and leave very vague messages on their official website.
  • Shout-Out: Oh god, where do we begin...let's just say that 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 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".
  • Speaking Simlish: "Omashee" is sung entirely like this.
  • 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 more or less "Shut the fuck up!".
  • Surreal Music Video: "Phantastica", where the band members play disguised as apes. "Angie", "Caņos" and "Isacco Nucleare" are pretty surreal too.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: "Elefante" sounds a bit familiar if you've heard Foo Fighters's "Low".
  • Throw It In: "Scegli Me" begins with Luca saying "maybe...". The band liked it and decided to keep it in the song.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: Alberto justifies his lyrics saying that they're only meant to be abstract images.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: So much that they've been mocked for the sheer randomness of their lyrics.

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