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Perticone - Underdog Award winner

Perticone
Underdog
by Kevin Lewis at 25 January 2021, 7:26 PM

PERTICONE is an Argentinian group formed around Martin Perticone, a multi-faceted musician with a long history including with some of the music businesses giants like Eric Martin (MR. BIG) and Richie Kotzen. The eponymous band are releasing their debut record, Underdog, on January 29, 2021, through AOR Heaven Records.

This record starts with a mid-tempo song called “No One Else (But You)”. With Steve Overland on lead vocals and a group of people on backing vocals, it has a layered sound that uses some good harmonizing to lift the song above the ordinary AOR radio type song. The use of slide and steel guitars on this record give a definite bluesy feel, while the keyboards keep it modern and more upbeat.

“Out Of Control” is a bit more of a rocker right from the opening riff. This is more of a straight-forward rock song along the lines of the major 70s and 80s arena rock giants (MR. BIG, FOREIGNER). There is more grit to this song than most on the record. By contrast, “Dusty Road” is that catchy, almost crossover pop song that harkens more those bands who have shifted over time (THE EAGLES, CHICAGO).

“Man On The Moon” is another rocker. It’s a catchy little tune with some good vocal vibes and pretty cool guitar tone. The guitars a little darker, not dreary or gloomy, just a little more foreboding to set the mood. The solo is a little heavier than a lot of what you hear on this record and is very well done. It fits the song and shows the variety of influences Martin Perticone has in his past.

Fans of movie intros will love hearing some of Rocky recited prior to the song “Underdog”. This is a song about overcoming adversity and achieving your dreams in spite of the world being against you. The theme is to “never give up”, even though you may have to face it alone. The upbeat keyboards underneath hint at a success in the future, giving this the feel of a ballad written about a triumphant hero.

The song that defines this record has two versions. “All You Can Trust” (done with a single singer and as a duet), is a ballad featuring the inimitable Eric Martin (MR. BIG). This is a simple little tune with some really good, subtle guitar work laced throughout. With a very simple rhythm, the song is just a mellow little drift along on a lazy river while you peacefully watch the world go by, content with life.

Underdog is a mix of rock, pop and blues with an occasional country feel thrown in for good measure. Performed live in the 80s, “All you Can Trust” would see the audience all holding their lighters in the air, swaying back and forth in time to the tune. Today, it would be a sea of cell phones. Either way, the crowd would feel the peace, the melancholy, the joy that these songs evoke. A fun treat would be to see this done as an acoustic set in a small, smoky club.

Underdog is well produced and performed. It has a lot of catchy tunes on it. There is a lot to like on this record. The songs are poignant and relatable. The vocals are crisp and clear and the music fits the moods the lyrics evince. This is a solid record, start to finish.

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship:  9
Memorability:  8
Production:  9


4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. No One Else (But You)
2. Out Of Control
3. All You Can Trust
4. Man On The Moon
5. Giselle
6. Dusty Road
7. Back To my Heart
8. Underdog
9. All You Can Trust (New Version)
Lineup:
Martin Perticone – Lead and Backing Vocals/Rhythm Guitar/12 String Guitar/Acoustic Guitar
Edu Giardina – Bass/Drums/Keyboard/Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals
Ale Malenky – Slide Guitar/Lap Steel Guitar
Guillermo De Medio – Keyboards on "Back to My Heart"
Eric Martin – Lead Vocals on "All You Can Trust" and "All you Can Trust (Duet)"
Steve Overland – Lead Vocal on “No One Else (But You)“
Record Label: AOR Heaven
     


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