Maybe the key to understanding Giardini di Miro’s stumbling take on instrumental post-rock is to realize that their native Italy is distantly provincial as musical centers go, forcing them to draw influences from faraway lands. This collection of early EPs and singles reveals their shifting moods and their tendency to, at any time, begin a game of copycat with some of the more familiar names in the game without really entering the dialogue. Immediate references include the shimmering crescendos of Godspeed, the rainy-day fortitude of Mogwai’s Come On Die Young, and the brutal, shifting melodiousness of Slint.
Despite frequent mimicry, the subtlety of their arrangements hints at more successful recent recordings. We find them developing their own sound, the occasional bombast being mournfully tempered to make way for soft, yearning vocals and flirtations with textural electronics. It’s like listening to a young group emulate established acts in an attempt to forge an identity in a genre that, for all its youth and possibility, tends to step in its own shit a little too often.