Lisa Germano | Review

Option | Robert Gordon

Germano sounds like a new visionary

On the Way Down From the Moon Palace

In these times of formulaic alternative rock, this is real alternative. Rock sensibilities are applied to songs featuring violin and other stringed instruments, bowed and picked, where the guitar is usually spotlighted. There are no hooks to speak of, and many of the songs are instrumentals. Germano does some very interesting pairings of the strings with rock drums, such as on “Screaming Angels Dancing in Your Garden,” which seems also to have some backward tape effects. Overall, Moon Palace is a mood piece, not somber at all, but pensive in a way that suggests activity over inactivity.  “Dig My Own Grace” is a restrained rocker, Germano's vocals more intense here than elsewhere. Each song flows into, or contrasts nicely with, the next, making the album whole. This could be the long-intended side project of a frustrated rock member (indeed, Germano has fiddled with such mainstream rock populists as John cougar Mellencamp), or she may simply be taking advantage of an opportunity to spread her wings. In any case, Germano sounds like a new visionary. 

(Major Bill, Box 30087, Indianapolis, IN 46230)