Mark Sanders

Move over Björk (of the Sugarcubes variety) and Kazu Makino (of the early Blonde Redhead variety). There's a new wailer in town and she means some mighty business. Meet Giovanna Cacciola and she's from Sicily. (Come to think of it why are all the good screechers from oversees?)

Stella marks the sixth full-length record from Uzeda. I have to admit I had pretty high expectations after seeing them perform late this Summer in a Polish nightclub with Shellac. And I'm pleased to report that the nervous energy of their performance translates very well when recorded.

At times I've uttered to myself "uh oh" as Giovanna quietly coos among the guitar, bass and drums (I am referring to the track ironically called 'Wailing'). Even if I hadn't heard it before, the audible tension foretells the audio assault that's about to break. And in that moment I think I can feel her cock her head back, breathe deeply right before letting the listener have it.

I don't mean to imply she is out of control. It's actually quite the contrary which makes her even more disarming. True to the other caterwauling greats she is capable of great range. She could melt your heart by whispering that she loves you or stop your heart by shrieking in rage. Man I love that.

And to be fair, all her band mates burst out of the speaker. Agostino Tilotta's schizophrenic guitar technique and facial gestures (he's really quite extraordinary to see in person), Raffaele Gulisano dirty yet precise bass (he played an entire show with a smirk, ie. dirty secret) and Davide Oliveri purposeful drum pounding are the perfect accompaniment to Giovanna's gift.

And with that I'm pleased to introduce you to perhaps the last great record I'll hear in the year 2006.