pain and angst and disappointment motivate an artist to express the incurable
maladies of human existence through personal statements that stand as testimony
of the artist’s perspective, one can easily focus on the foundation of Steve
Iannetti’s work, The Terror Of Tiny Town.
addresses some common woes of love and attraction in the 13 tracks that make up
the CD, appropriately named after a low-budget move that has become a cult
classic.But, like a true child of
the streets, he doesn’t whine about any of it. In fact, he almost seems proud
that he has weathered all emotional storms.
the surface (Big Hoop Earrings) or straight from the heart (There Is
No God), Iannetti is clearly seeing what dangers and dreams are possible on
the levels of Mayan and Brahman life. In Earrings he is awake and aware
of how the glitter of feminine adornment can add enough magic to bring him to
his knees. In God he takes a stand that any hideous act without reason
proves that which may be divine is meaningless when ignoring the value of life.
It is far from two-faced; it is the spirit of awareness and the loathing of
overstatement, qualities any true artist holds dear and defends with closed
all of Iannetti’s music is two-fisted and his character demands a
self-strength that boys growing up in the city learn as a means of preservation.
If, the artist tells us in God, I can sustain the great blows I am given,
how could an almighty power not clench his fists at evil? Iannetti takes some
blows, too, and is perfectly able to admit the blame for getting them.
Just Like You he confesses a penchant for attracting drama in relationships.
He is drawn to the adventure of conflict and sings, “Over and over I make the
same mistake.” He addresses this as if he likes the behavior as much as he
wants to change it. In Self-Afflicted he bears responsibility for his
wounds with unusual courage, again showing us he has taken it like a man. And in
Problems, he tells the wounded that bad could be worse, with a classic
Jerry Lee Lewis-killer attitude and musical style. It is honestly masculine at
the peril of political correctness.
opens his wounds for the listener and he often plays his guitar as if his
fingers are still bleeding from the countless confrontations of love he has
experienced and sings about. He sees beauty and ugliness as the same thing,
sometimes, and his voice portrays the wonder of it all with dead accuracy.
“Like a car wreck on a highway/I just couldn’t look away,” he sings in Face
Like A Picasso. It is the perfect blend of cowardice and courageousness that
finds Iannetti in a ruthless imbroglio, one that makes his simple and sometimes
surprising chord structures add color to his voice.
in a strange and comfortable way, Iannetti’s vocals are always laden with a
hard echo that richly attributes to the singer’s hard-nosed delivery and puts
flesh on the bones of his lyrics. The songs are rarely tender, though, even when
he sings of wanting to believe in romance—“I was perfect for about two
weeks.” And his timid but affective symbolic approach—“I see red when I
see you” is nowhere near the ringing of highbrow poetry but powerful
lives in a hard world and addresses life with rock-hard qualities that strip his
personality of all the sappy elements one might hear from an artist dealing with
the kinds of things he does. And that attitude gives this piece of work a stream
of truth that can only surface from a musician who can bend a guitar string and
his voice with the prowess of a lumberjack’s axe. The Terror Of Tiny Town
is, then, on all levels, entertaining, literate and honest—and a unique
signature of an artist whose only agenda is to put his cards face up on the