Here’s an amazing Italian cassette compilation from 1988, generously ripped by Carlo. This is the first in a two part series of homebrew tape compilations from the 80s featuring bands from the Treviso region of Northern Italy. This edition focuses on new wave and post-punk bands, while the second volume caters more towards experimental and ambient bands. You can get the second volume here.
I was originally drawn to this cassette via Wax Heroes and Scent Merci, two excellent post-punk bands that only have a handful of releases between them. However, the entire compilation is awesome, with the exception of the Nicotine Spyral Surfers songs, which aren’t bad if you prefer things on the more garage-y side. However, the true standout to me is Inside Loneliness, a band who truly invokes the cold Cure-esque vibes of Seventeen Seconds as well as other bands of that ilk. I can’t get enough of “It’s Over Again,” (which builds to the same simple, but perfect chord progression as The Chameleons’ “Second Skin”), while their second track here is no slouch, either. Inside Loneliness also contributed more tracks (including an alternate version of “It’s Over Again” that lacks the synth intro) to the Opere Senze Ombre compilation, which features the German Shadowplay, Opera Multi Steel, and the Venus Fly Trap. As you can see, that compilation wasn’t as ethnocentric as this one is, but is still worth hearing and can be found here.
As for the rest of the bands here, Domus Tedii plays a darker, organ driven style of post-punk, while Em’s Dream all but sounds like Robert Smith singing. In fact, Marathon’s contribution is also reminiscent of the Cure’s Head On the Door/Kiss Me period (see above), with the trademark keyboard flute sounds and sad, yet boisterous melody. Turbe Psichiche Di Origine Dolosa are the most punk-inspired of the bands, with backing vocals that are both anthemic as well as slightly Byrds-esque. Aside from Inside Loneliness, my other favorite track on this compilation comes from Lacrima Christi, with some great cold sounds and solid atmosphere. I’m not sure if this is the same band that appears on a 1991 compilation, but I’d love to hear more from them either way.
Various Artists- Treviso Underground Vol. 1: Nuovo Rock/Wave
1. Miky Mouse- Wax Heroes
2. Wake Me Up Wizard!- Wax Heroes
3. It’s Over Again- Inside Loneliness
4. Trees Out of My Way- Inside Loneliness
5. School Days II- Scent Merci
6. The Bright Moonlight- Scent Merci
7. You Make Me Fly (So High)- Nicotine Spyral Surfers
8. Are You Surprised?- Nicotine Spyral Surfers
9. Non Presenza- Domus Tedii
10. Rachele- Lacrima Christi
11. Bloodless (Not Buried)- Em’s Dream
12. Sun of the Awning- Marathon
13. Questo E’ Il Tuo Giorno- Turbe Psichiche Di Origine Dolosa
Thanks again, Carlo!