Tre allegri ragazzi morti (TARM) Bookmark and Share


Davide Toffolo (June 17, 1965)

Born in Pordenone, Italy, Davide Toffolo studied at the DAMS (Dipartimento di Arte, Musica e Spettacolo) of the University of Bologna. He gradually moved towards drawing comics and started to play music on the side in the late '70s, when Pordenone became one of the most important cities for the Italian punk rock scene. At the time, there was a movement of young musicians called Great Complotto, which gave birth to several small punk rock and new wave groups. They all had a short life, but the line-up of one of them, Futuritmi (1983–1990), featured Davide Toffolo and Gian Maria Accusani, leader of the later famous band Prozac+.

Tre Allegri Ragazzi Morti was then formed by Toffolo and drummer Luca Casta (stage name of Luca Masseroni). The bass player Enrico Molteni would join the group for the release of their third EP, Si parte (Leaving). After the release of the first three singles, ignored by the critics, the band recorded their first studio album, 'Piccolo intervento a vivo' (Little live operation), which featured new tracks and live records of some previous songs. This album caught the attention of the record label BMG Ricordi, and the band signed a contract with it for the next LP, titled Mostri e normali (Monsters and normals). Meanwhile Toffolo's career as a comic artist also lift off with the first titles released on the market. Toffolo mixed the world of his books with the stage act of TARM with the band members hiding their faces from the public during all concerts, wearing a skull mask and not letting the fans take pictures or videos when they take the mask down.

The contract with BMG was soon broken to be exchanged by releases on their own independent record label, La Tempesta. After that they released an online EP, Il principe in bicicletta (Prince on the bike), and all the following albums. In October 2005 the band toured Uruguay and Argentina. In 2008, the group appeared in the movie Come Dio comanda, directed by Gabriele Salvatores, and took part in its soundtrack.

From September 2008, Davide Toffolo returned to his comics which contain the completed series of his greatest work: Cinque Allegri Ragazzi Morti (Five happy dead boys). Every book features a CD of TARM: the first CD is a Greates Hits from 2000 to 2007, the second features rare tracks and b-sides, while the third is the debut album Mondo Naif (1994). In 2010 the group released an album that moved away from the punk sound and investigated Latin American rhythms they encoutered when touring there. The album also got a dub-version.

On the web:

- TARM's website: http://www.treallegriragazzimorti.it/

What do we think:

DB: We're going deep into Italian alternative rock with this musical lovechild of Pier Paolo Pasolini and Tim Burton. Dressed with the sinister skull outfit they look like they celebrating the Mexican Day of the Dead on a regular basis. You might confuse them with a similar strategy as American metalband Slipknot but in this case looks are deceiving. In fact TARM cleverly mixes Italian pop with reggae, punk and rock. The art of Toffolo ads to creating a stylish mystery without becoming gore or sinister. Hinting more towards the Residents in the sense of creating a total concept around their musical output.

If you like this, you probably like.. / european counterparts:

Električni Orgazam (Serbia)

Recomended albums:

- Piccolo intervento a vivo - 1997

- Mostri e normali - 1999

♪♪♪ - La testa indipendente - 2001

- Il sogno del gorilla bianco - 2004

- La seconda rivoluzione sessuale - 2007

♪♪♪ - Primitivi del futuro - 2010

♪♪♪ - Nel giardino dei fantasmi - 2012

- Inumani - 2016

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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