The Count — Joseph A. Viglione — has been a visible and important fixture on the local Boston scene ever since the mid-’70s. Besides recording and performing his own material, he’s published fanzines, promoted concerts, produced other bands and operated the Varulven label. Oddly enough, his first two albums have never been issued outside France.
I’m a Star owes quite a bit to the influence of the Velvet Underground and, like Lou Reed, the Count knows how to make the most of a voice with a limited range. The tracks — many previously issued in the US on singles and EPs — are appealing because of their simple, romantic outlook on life. Love & Flame finds the Count in a more mainstream new wave format. At times, he tries too hard as a vocalist, and parts are overarranged, but it’s still a generally listenable record.
The Intuition Element, dynamically produced by veteran Jimmy Miller, is a highly charged near-metal rock album filled with blistering guitar solos (credit Fudge Keegan), thundering drums and more of the Count’s individualistic songs. A lot heavier than usual, but above average (except for some awkward vocals and lyrics) as such things go.