May 2023 23

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With the recent passing of bassist Andy Rourke, there could be no better timing for Spiritual Front to pay tribute as the band announces the forthcoming The Queen Is Not Dead album. Due for release on July 21 via Prophecy Productions, the album sees the Italian trio covering 15 songs by influential English group The Smiths, of which Rourke was prominently a member; Spiritual Front founder and front man Simone Salvatori states that this eighth album serves as homage to “Morriseey’s and Johnny Marr’s legendary hymns of unquestionable beauty,” while the selection of songs serves to indicate Spiritual Front’s own particular “suicide pop” sound – “catchy ballads for heartbreaker nihilist youth.”
From the album comes the video for “Bigmouth Strikes Again,” with the band explaining its choice as its first single stemming from the song’s recognizable and captivating quality; “the initial riff is already history after the first two seconds,” Salvatori states, with the video directed by Carlo Roberti and featuring longtime Spiritual Front collaborator Mr. Aldino. Furthermore, the song features guest performances by lead guitarist Jairo Zavala (Calexico, DePedro), and backing vocals by T.J. Cowgill (King Dude) and Durga McBroom (Pink Floyd, Steve Hackett, Billy Idol).

The Queen Is Not Dead also features guest appearances by Traci Danielle (My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult), Filippo Marcheggiani (Banco del Mutuo Soccorso), Michal Stepien (MGŁA), Riccardo Spilli (Il Balletto di Bronzo), Sasha Boole (Me and That Man), Riccardo Galati, as well as bass player Daniele Raggi joining the core trio of Salvatori, guitarist Francesco Conte, and drummer Andrew Freda. The album follows up on 2018’s Amour Braque, with the standard edition available to pre-order now in digital, CD, and vinyl formats. The deluxe edition will include an additional 11 tracks of orchestral, acoustic, live, and alternate versions.

Andy Rourke passed away on May 19, having succumbed to pancreatic cancer. Joining The Smiths in 1982 after the band’s first gig, his playing style would become a significant component to the the band’s longevity, heralded for its blend of funk and rockabilly inspired fluidity. He went on to perform with Morrissey, as well as Sinéad O’Connor, The Pretenders, Killing Joke, and numerous others. He would form D.A.R.K. with Olé Koretsky and The Cranberries vocalist Dolores O’Riordan, and most recently Blitz Vega with guitarist/vocalist Kav Blaggers; the latter band’s “Strong Forever” single, released in November 2022, featured Johnny Marr as a guest guitarist, marking the first time the two had recorded together in 35 years.


Spiritual Front
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Prophecy Productions
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Andy Rourke
Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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