USING BRIDGE (And I Will Be Heard) CD
Released in 2012 by Go Down Records, 'And I Will Be Heard' is the third album of Italy's USING BRIDGE. I do not know their previous recordings, but the new full-length is a quite nice albeit unspectacular ride. USING BRIDGE creates a sound that mostly blends elements of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. Especially singer and bassist Manuel Ottaviani sounds like the little brother of Chris Cornell at certain moments, but it doesn't distract me because I love Soundgarden (except for 'Down On The Upside'), contrary to Pearl Jam. They have always annoyed the fuck out of me, but that is not the point right now.
The good thing about 'And I Will Be Heard' is its versatility. All of the 12 songs on the album have something different to offer, be it slower, emotional ballads or riff-oriented rocking outbursts. Tracks such as 'Only For My Eyes', 'Drop' and 'In You' strike an emotional chord, whilst songs like 'One Minute To Go' or 'Not Like To Know' provide the rock. The songs are passionately performed and USING BRIDGE pays as much attention to head as to heart. But sometimes there is simply a lack of songwriting qualities and also a few riffs could benefit from an additional boost in terms of power. Both aspects belong to the weak points of USING BRIDGE and they should be glad that they have a talented vocalist in their ranks, because Manuel Ottaviani keeps on scoring with his charismatic and soulful voice.
My personal highlight is the brilliant cover version of 'Gimme Shelter'. That song has been covered by hundreds of bands including The Hellacopters and Josefus, but USING BRIDGE's version is among the best. Keith Richards and Mick Jagger would be proud of this four Italian cats. 'And I Will Be Heard' is certainly not a bad album, but what is missing is a higher profile and a higher rate of better songs. Apart from that, though, UNDER BRIDGE is well under way.