Eddie Lascu 8-Mar-2008 Contraponto

Spin XXI is a 21st century reincarnation of a Brazilian band that was formed in the early '70s. Five musicians living in the Rio de Janeiro / Niteroi area in Brazil got together for the first time in 1972. They were very active as a live band but never got a chance to record their material. The band undergoes a line-up change in 1979 and as a result changes its name into Contraponto. They continue to be a solid presence on stages throughout Brazil, taking part to countless festivals, playing live in schools and colleges.

Years have passed and in 2002 the band reforms under the Spin XXI moniker. New century, new ambition to retrieve that old flame that drove them early in their lives. It was the right time to finally record and release all those musical ideas born in the '70s.

The album, sporting an absolute gorgeous cover, was released in 2006 by Rock Symphony in Brazil and the worldwide and by Musea Records in the European Community and Russia.

The band is led by Kakao Figuiredo – main vocals, keyboards, guitars and percussion. Kakao is also the producer of the album. The other four members are Eraldo Marcio Correa – keyboards, a player that draws a lot of influence from Tony Banks, Tatoo Magdalena – electric and acoustic guitar and backing vocals, Silvio Sa Correa – drums and percussion and Marcelo of Alexander Venancio – bass guitar, Moog and backing vocals.

The album has 4 tracks, none shorter than 7 minutes. The lyrics are sung in Portuguese by Kakao Figuiredo. His dramatic, theatrical voice is something similar to what Fish was doing for Marillion. Is strange, because I am tempted to compare Spin XX! With Marillion a lot, although they must have developed their musical identity long before Marillion came into being.

The first two tracks have a definitive Gabriel-era Genesis vibe. Several keyboard parts will certainly remind you of Tony Banks. In fact this is visible throughout the entire album and it's not just the keyboard that borrow from Banks' sound, but also the guitars often sound like those of Howe and Hackett. Just listen to the solo in "Buscando Algo De Novo" and tell me that is not from "The Lamb...".

The third track, also the longest, is "Conflitantes Paranoias" (Conflicting Paranoias) - a suite in two parts. The first part is dedicated to the 20th century, while the second part, obviously, deals with the 21st century. It’s here where we get the most Marillion-like sound. One could swear that this is an outtake of Marillion’s “Jigsaw”.

This may be recorded in the 21st century, but the music preserves magically the symphonic rock spirit of the '70s. If you are not bothered by someone trying to turn back time, get this album. After all, you can pretend it was released in the '70s when the music was actually composed. “Contraponto” will please the souls of Gabriel-era Genesis and early Marillion fans.

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