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Music Reviews, North America, Baltimore
Cicaeda and Caruso at The Adelphi - 20th April 04

Cicaeda and Caruso schmavved in 'Ull
By Michelle Dee
Cicaeda hail from Baltimore, Maryland. Their sound comes from somewhere between Sonic Youth and Parvo.

Adriana Pateris, the hippy-chic front woman sounds not unlike Justine Frischman from Elastica.
It's brash, thunderous waves of sounds interspersed with all kinds of electronic wizardry. Beth Varden on Bass guitar was great.

Rob Girardi on the guitar to the left of her, hopping about the stage just like their namesake. Apparently, it's the noisiest grasshopper in the world!

David Bergander, the enigmatic drummer, dressed in black silk shirt and pendant was dark and moody.

At one point during the gig he played his drums and high hats with a tambourine!
Cicaeda have gone through a series of reincarnations to reach their current line up. They started as Womyn of Destruction; a seminal feminist punk outfit.

Rob was known to wear a dress to match his then long blonde, girlish locks. As I remarked to Beth, he does have that sort of, you know, thing about him!
They then evolved into Estrojet. Beth joined them and added her bass to the line up.

None of the twiddly-iddly bits, just strong, dependable chords you can fall into.

Baltimore sounds like a really cool place to live, with film collectives, musicians and artists everywhere.

A few famous names can be found in Baltimore's history Frank Zappa went to school there for one.
Also the notorious John Waters director of many outrageous films.

The creator of the seminal seventies musical Hairspray can often be found in the local bars and clubs downing a few schmavvies.
Then before our very eyes, they metamorphosed from Cicaeda into Caruso. Singer/songwriter Matt Debellis joined them.

Matt and Beth have been friends since 7th grade, so it was no surprise that the wings of Cicaeda should welcome Orphan Boy Matt.

He was given this name because he doesn't have a band of his own.
So, on to Caruso. More swapping of instruments, Adrianna plays keyboards, guitars are changed, tambourines passed from artiste to artiste and back again - it was like a game of musical chairs up there - but without the chairs.

Caruso has a where am I kind of sound but it's ok because everything's cool - it's not important where I am.
They are reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine during the Loveless era.

A deep noise that pulls at every fibre of your being. Adrienne creates ecclesiastic mantras on the keyboard.

Rob's guitar sounds like crystalline water droplets, falling from his fingers.

A majestic but ferocious sound sweeps over you with the entire group frantically playing like they were under some kind of enchantment.

From somewhere an engine roars into life reverberating round the darkened room.
I do not know whether Dave kick started a little petrol engine hidden behind his drum visor or whether it was more electronic gizmos.

It was like a metaphor for the band. Towards the end of their set they were almost certainly going at full throttle.

Burning the air with fuel injected instrumentals that pick you up in one place and drop you somewhere totally different.
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