New Trolls - Searching for a Land. 1972 Italy
CD reissues: 1991 Fonit Cetra; 1999 Warner Fonit; 2006 Arcangelo (Japan mini-LP); 2008 Vinyl Magic/BTF (mini-LP); 2015 Warner (Japan SHM)
LP reissues: 1977 Fonit Cetra; 1977 Zafiro (Spain); 1984 Nexus (Japan); 1991 Fonit Cetra; 2008 Vinyl Magic/BTF
The biggest challenge facing the New Trolls, at least for contemporary fans, is that they had (have?) absolutely no identity. And no album in their discography underscores this fact more than Searching for a Land - a title which be can interpreted figuratively. As such, when I first bought the LP 25 years ago, I hated it and promptly sold back into the marketplace. As is often the case, I decided to buy the CD again, and reevaluate properly - and hopefully more objective this go round.
And so yes, I can hear the merits of the album in a different light. Album #1 is a folk / psych / prog amalgamation. Not too distant from what was happening in the UK during that era, as one might find on the Transatlantic label for example. Singing in English was a highly unusual move for Italians back then, and unfortunately it loses something in translation. The vocals are oddly affected, though I find them interesting all the same. Album #2 is a live recording that brings out the band's inner Deep Purple. The phony piped in audience noise is ridiculous, as if they recorded the album in front of a bunch of 13 year old girls - and they were Frank Sinatra. Ha! All the same, the New Trolls were accomplished musicians and the album has a kinetic energy that is infectious, even if it's entirely unoriginal.
The band would go on from here to release their most progressive album in UT, before splintering/devolving into various fusion and/or pop rock incarnations. As I said in the prelude: The New Trolls never had an identity for anyone to relate with. And thus they haven't aged well.
All the LP reissues are 2 LP sets like the original. An easy album to find in either format.