29 July 2019

THE WINSTONS – Smith 2019 (LP/CD Sony Music)



The Winstons is an exciting – kind of new – Progressive-Rock trio, based in Milan (Italy) and so far they have released their self-titled “Winstons” LP, a Live CD called “Live In Rome”, a 7inch Single “Golden Brown” (all in 2016 through ASM Records) and also a remarkable LP in 2018 entitled “Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures At An Exhibition” with EsecutoridiMetallosuCarta and Andrew Quinn. The Winstons consist of 3 well-established musicians from Italy’s Indie-Rock scene and each one of them is using “Winston” for his surname. So, it’s Linnon Winston (Lino Gitto), Rob Winston (Roberto Dell’Era) and Enro Winston (Enrico Gabrielli). Actually, “Smith” is their sophomore LP album and except the 3 Winston guys, a variety of musicians are taking part in this “Smith” project. Richard Sinclair (of Caravan and Hatfield and the North fame!), Mick Harvey (Bad Seeds, PJ Harvey, to name a few), Nic Cester (from Jet), Rodrigo D’Erasmo and Federico Pierantoni. The cover is done by Japanese artist Gun Kawamura who also designed the cover for their debut album. “Smith” consists of 12 songs,6 on each side of the LP and it starts with a strange kind of ‘weird’ intro called “Mokumokuren”, very effected and extremely Eastern-influenced, I guess… “Ghost Town” shows a very different approach in Winston’s incomparable Progressive-Rock style! It surely gives you the sense of a more Poppy-based scale but their ‘switching’ in different styles is monumental! For example, in this track over here, I can feel the presence of The Beatles (White album era), The Stones (Satanic Majesties era), The Beach Boys (Pet Sound era) and U2 (Joshua Tree era), all together presented here in just 3min through a modern Progressive Kaleidoscope, and of course there’s so much going on in the background that at times it reminds me of the latest musical adventures of Lennon’s son Sean with Les Claypool! The next one is called “Around The Boat” and at least to my ears, this short piece of music is deeply influenced by Beatles’ “Let It Be”, probably the “Naked” version… Knock knock… Who’s there? We’re from Canterbury! Well, Come on in!… “Tamarind Smile / Apple Pie” has already started… A splendid Progressive Poppy tune with double rich vocal harmonies, becoming a terrific groovy Prog-Funky complicated tune, bringing to mind the magnificent early works of Giles, Giles, And Fripp! “A Man Happier Than You” is a balladesque song, obviously influenced by Lennon’s first solo album, it is sung by Mick Harvey and it is a very different kind of Winstons and I Love it! Side ‘A’ closes with “Not Dosh For Parking Lot”, the dominant keys are back with this brilliant and clever rhythmic tune! For once more their late 60s influences are present all over! Side ‘B’ opens with “The Blue Traffic Light” emerging a deep early 70s British Prog feeling, Yes comes to mind along with mid-70s Soft Machine but with a lighter operatic approach! “Blind” is a nice Pop-Prog ballad and I’m pretty sure that it could find its way to the ‘cursed’ Ziggy Stardust album! “Impotence” is a Wilde Flowers cover version written by Hugh Hopper and Robert Wyatt, an excellent “modernized” version featuring the one and only Richard Sinclair! “Soon Everyday” is mellow but adventurous old-style Prog-Rock with a tremendous new and fresh Poppy approach sooner to be transformed into a Prog theme of a futuristic film soundtrack! Unbelievable tune! Fantastically Trippy! For some reason, “Sintagma” brings to my aged mind, the late Great AREA! And of course, it’s not because of the Italian language that is used here. Yes, no one can reach Demetrio’s voice, but musically speaking, this reminds me a lot of the GREAT mid 70s Italian Prog scene (Area, Le Orme, Metamorfosi). The album closes with a real Heavy Proger called “Rocket Belt” featuring Nic Cester on vocals, a fuzzy screamy and extra Proggy tune! In conclusion, I think that The Winstons tried to reach different soundscapes with this release. They managed to clothe their Modern-Progressive-Canterbury-Influenced Rock style with a huge colorful intellectual complicated Poppy veil! I believe the final result is good and indemnifies the listener! “Smith” is an album… Hoping For Happiness! (TimeLord Michalis)



Label: Sony Music Entertainment Italy S.p.A.

Format: LP, Album, Gatefold

Format: CD, Album, Gatefold Digipack with clear tray

Release Date: 31 May 2019



A1 Mokumokuren 1:15
A2 Ghost Town 3:15
A3 Around The Boat 2:10
A4 Tamarind Smile / Apple Pie 5:27
A5 A Man Happier Than You 3:44
A6 No Dosh For Parking Lot 2:34
B1 The Blue Traffic Light 4:17
B2 Blind 3:42
B3 Impotence 2:42
B4 Soon Everyday 4:24
B5 Sintagma 5:00
B6 Rocket Belt 3:01



Listen to The Winstons through their Bandcamp:


Visit The Winstons’ Facebook:


Get the album through BTF:










Leave a Reply