For Mister Peculiar, music is only about telling stories; combining the power of folk songwriters’ straightforward, philosophical lyrics with haul-away, synesthesia-style music compositions and arrangements, he says that he has always been focused on writing songs primarily to please himself rather than to make money. After few years spent collaborating as both composer and musician with various bands and artists, Mister Peculiar, released his first work,“I Should Follow Steve’s Thought”, in 2011. This was followed by the EP “Informal Session, pt. 1”.
In 2014 Mister Peculiar released his second full-length work “Changes”, a concept-album based around the journey through a young man’s mind. The songs on the album narrate the story of a man who, tired of the dullness and frustration of his current life, decides to leave his country but soon realizes that just changing place is not enough.
I consider the work of Mister Peculiar to be quite personal and complex. It actually requires you to actually listen to it and really get a feel of what he’s going after, not just singing an overplayed chorus of the usual pop song of the day. “Changes” is filled with emotion. Whether it’s a flailing guitar passage, or a haunting vocal sung by Mister Peculiar, this album will never grow old. The plot remains interesting throughout as you follow Mister Peculiar through a series of alternating thoughts, experiences and reality.
Sometimes a piece of work is so esoteric and eccentric that it defies categorization. “Changes” is a seemingly disparate and sometimes unsettling journey into the depths of human consciousness and sub-consciousness when fighting ones demons. This concept serves as an excellent vehicle for Mister Peculiar to create a journey about a man adapting to change – both interior and exterior. In many ways this the tracks are dark, intense, and evocative, treading the line between classic and progressive rock, with slight touches of psychedelic influences. Similarities to vintage Pink Floyd cannot be ignored, especially on tracks like “The prisoner”, “Old place”, “Talking to the moon” and Sky eyed girl, but Mister Peculiar incorporates many other blues-based, rock and folk-invoked roots influences, as the album seems to move from its dark and ominous start towards a more uplifting and hopeful ending.
Mister Peculiar voice also sounds different from song to song, at times it has a drier, more somber quality, at others he half-speaks, half-recites his lyrics, in keeping with the albums startling shifts in dynamics, and then there are also sections in which he does some of his best singing. His guitar work is masterful, and whether whispering or exploding into incendiary blues riffs, it follows Mister Peculiar’s musical ideas effortlessly, giving perfect voice and tone to the range of moods the album demands. The core backing band too, rise exceptionally well to the challenge. Vinnie Matozza: Drums, Percussions, Felix G. Matozza: Bass Guitar and Federico Parodi: Piano, Hammond Organ, Synth, Mellotron, Rhodes Piano, Wurlitzer and Farfisa, add many essential textures, colors and rhythms to make this album achieve its precise sound.
Ultimately, in “Changes”, the story Mister Peculiar is trying to tell and the message he is attaching to it, make this album an essential part of any serious rock music lovers collection. When an artist tears his heart out and places it on record, as Mister Peculiar does, it is hard not to sit up and listen. This is an incredibly interesting work, it is hard to leave it, or allow it to leave you!