FIRMO (Room Experience) – Rehab (2018)
Gianluca Firmo already delighted us as the main vocalist on the fantastic Room Experience’s melodic rock debut album. Now he’s gone solo under the FIRMO moniker, with his first album “Rehab” to be released October 19.
Among the stellar guests we find the likes of Paul Laine (The Defiants, Danger Danger), Mario Percudani (Hungryheart, Hardline) and Davide “Dave Rox” Barbieri (Raintimes, Room Experience).
While not pure melodic rock / fluffy AOR as his work with Room Experience, musically “Rehab” finds Gianluca Firmo exploring more classic territories, or if you prefer, a traditional ‘vintage’ melodic rock style with FM AOR touches.
Opener “A Place For Judgement Day” is a cheerful rocker which begins with lovely keyboards in the background, polished guitar work and Gianluca’s clean vocals at front. The chorus is catchy and sing-along, and according to Firmo himself, ‘The chorus was built over the guitar riff which actually was written on a keyboard. That could be something that real rockers will charge me on my ‘judgement day’… ;-)”
Shifting to a bit into pop/rock we have the tender “Heart Of Stone” where not only the lead vocal shines, but especially the background harmonies courtesy of Paul Laine and Davide “Dave Rox” Barbieri.
Firmo is a declared Bon Jovi fan, and makes it clear on “Shadows And Lights”, akin New Jersey’s ‘Bed Of Roses’. An emotional ballad very well crafted both vocally and instrumentation.
The keyboards in “Maybe Forever” are so ’80s, same with “No Prisoners”, perhaps the most melodic rock track on the album with muscular guitars performed with gusto.
“Didn’t Wanna Care” is another beautiful ballad, very ‘Shining Line’ style, that meaning AORish by nature. “Unbreakable” is an anthem, melodic rock in hear yet with earthy arrangements, then on “Cowboys Once, Cowboys Forever” Firmo go for a midtempo melody using acoustic guitars for variation.
Title track “Rehab” is a nice mid-paced tune with a positive message, while listed as bonus track once more we find a Bon Jovi-esque big ballad with a strong chorus and a raspy, sensual vocal delivery.
A very strong first effort from Firmo, “Rehab” is a highly recommended, enjoyable slice of classic melodic rock varied in songwriting, and well performed and produced.
01. A Place For Judgement Day
02. Heart Of Stone
03. Shadows And Lights
04. Maybe Forever
05. No Prisoners
06. Didn’t Wanna Care
08. Don’t Dare To Call It Love
09. Cowboys Once, Cowboys Forever
11. Until Forever Comes
13. Forget You Not (Bonus Track)
Gianluca Firmo: Vocals, Keyboards
Mattia Tedesco (Vasco Rossi, Gianluca Grignani): Guitars
Nicola Iazzi (Hardline): Bass
Daniele Valseriati (Tragodia): Drums, Percussion
Paul Laine (The Defiants, Danger Danger): Backing Vocals
Davide “Dave Rox” Barbieri (Raintimes, Room Experience): Backing Vocals
Mario Percudani (Hungryehart, Hardline): Guitars
Stefano Zeni (Wheels Of Fire, Room Experience): Guitars
Carlo Poddighe: Guitars
Pier Mazzini (Danger Zone): Keyboards
Andrea Cinelli: Piano