What Bruno Knows



                                                              (Suriya Recordings 2023)



Suitably, a snatch of answerphone starts THE LONG GONE
And this tribute to Dean Moriarty, Beatnik in exelcis,
And totem it seems from the start, for Bruno Oliveira’s
ShakingSphere, whose album goes in search of his guru,
Travelling through the troubled times we’re all living
And in need of a returning path to the heart.

Ricardo Mendes and Thiago Arruda’s plaintive guitars pulse
And moan for the departing spirit that’s driving songwriter,
Singer and drummer Oliveira to the point where while
We are living in hell, angels rise from books and dreams
And departures (from both flesh and direction), to flow
Through music that soothes and stirs, like a joint.

Lines like ‘the long done blown song of the righteous wrong’
Tell the story of the fools who persuade us, surrounding us
As we search – for the rainbow which fades even though
We keep looking, without realizing that the night has arrived
To seal hurt. This then is ‘ the beaten generation’ once more,
As foreseen by Matt Johnson, and Oliveira’s croon is smoke

Centred, as the heart’s fires fume. Arruda’s electric strings shine,
As Mendes and Otavio Ribiero’s bass subtly ground him,
Before an ecstatic solo sends this song higher as each perfect
Sound sparks and spumes. Live a new way, like Dean and the Beats
Did in each story. Kerouac was compromised by his drinking,
But Dean and Neal lived some dream. Part creations, part men,

‘Stumbling all along that thin line/Traced to shuffle myths
With real life,’ their souls scheming to become inspirations
As they are for Shaking Sphere: lives as theme.
ABSOLUTELY NOTHING begins as a Costello like rant
But soon softens into something more sacred, despite
The despair at its core. The singer’s soul ‘is not dark,  

its just a blueprint of my heart,’ says the lyric and the ‘holy
grail of emptiness’ can be searched for after ‘bleeding gas so hard
That ‘the lighter lit/Across the Street’ ignites more.
The complex melody weaves, rethreading itself as you listen,
As Oliveira’s self-styled backing band form the fabric
That quickly sounds seamless as the song completes perfectly.

It could be Jeff Lynne’s Threetles, so smooth is the band’s
Blend in playing, and with Oliveira as singer and drummer
He focuses front and back easily. Guitars crash, keyboards
Gleam (courtesy of Edu Mariano), and the night achieves
Morning as sun spears the darkness and we try in new ways

Threads this thought and exuberantly delivers this message.
Lorena Pires joins Bruno in this love song to a cause
Epitomized by a man but shared with all people,
For as these songs prise doors open, the spirits within
Seek their source. FADE AWAY is American rock; Boston,
Toto, or Kansas are conjured. The song soars like The Eagles,

From its piano and baritone start. While MAXIMUM & MINIMUM
Eno’s through before reaching an R.E.M. shimmer,
Oliveira’s voice almost snake-like as it wraps itself around
Visions of what awaits us, for as Death becomes sculptor
So everlasting love becomes art. This is a Brazilian Band,
But they contain Burroughs’ western lands deep within them.

Bruno’s beat is pure beatnik, his rhythm and rhyme
Stoke jazz flames. Which make no playful tunes, but rather,
Those of deep exploration of the discord around us
As the reign of ravagement rages and the weapons of war
Play death’s game. GOODBYE’s glistening guitars and keys
Flow like wine, or some soured river, as Oliveira’s long lyric lines

Ripple across the shadows and ghosts of our past.
‘Goodbye to everyone who still can draw a true smile,’ he sings
Sweetly, ‘A happy face amidst the sick to death skies turning cold;’
A dark chorus colouring the bleak present as part of the die
And dye that’s been cast. As a warning call, this two-part song
Is almost stirring, as if hands held up in defeat we were dancing

Before the will and the whims of our fate. There is a Jesus Christ
Superstar sheen to this song as the guitar solo starts soaring.
While Part 2 vocoders, before Bruno turns Brit-pop
Into a youthful stamp and stance at hell’s gate.
The lyric has a slight variation but shows
How a sense of helplessness is no burden, but can instead

Be used wisely if we are able to rouse our deep needs
To reform and to rise and to explore the far country
That Kerouac, Corso, Gysin, Kesey, Burroughs and Ginsberg
Encountered, for the heart and mind can continue
To search and to want as they bleed. And so, DEAN MORIARTY
Concludes this visceral album. Oliveira treats Dean like a lover,

As if inspiration were, as it is, a romance, for both the person
And place in which the prized subject suffered. And through which
They travelled, known or unknown, lost to chance.
Where have you gone? And will we meet again? Words imploring.
Love like a fire, claiming the moment and taming the young
And the wise, light from black. A song as narrative end

To an essential new album. Starting with a snatch of Steve Allen
And Jack Kerouac, before Mariano resumes, and the torch song
Starts blazing. ‘Nothing seems to be in place,’ yet the searching
For Dean’s perfect pose bars attack. There are not many examples
These days of such dedication. Not many bands, or much music
Which resists the ego. And yet this record is pure.

It is one man calling out for another,
Cast as his temple and erected in the place Edens grow.
Not that those can be found. But on the shaking sphere
On which we live, there’s a turning, digitally imagined, yes,
But directed to the secret place where dreams flow,
As if they were oceans or streams or the very ideas

That make writers become their creations.
This then is art’s secret. And this is the very thing
                                                  Bruno knows.    



                                                                                                                    David Erdos 13/9/23






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