Wednesday, September 06, 2006

De Rosa--Mend (2006)

Artist-De Rosa
Release Date-Sep 5, 2006
Label-Chemikal Underground
Genre/Style-Indie Rock

Biography-by Marisa Brown Originally a five-piece group, when De Rosa broke up in 2003, three years after their inception, vocalist Martin John Henry decided to re-form the group instead of ending things completely, bringing on brothers Neil Woodside (on drums) and James Woodside (on bass, melodica, and mandolin). After a year spent working in the studio, De Rosa's debut album, Mend, was released on Chemikal Underground, and later that year guitarist Chris Connick, who had played on much of the record, as well as having toured with them previously, officially joined the band.

Review-by Stewart Mason The debut album by Scottish indie trio De Rosa (released on the Delgados' Chemikal Underground label, providing instant street cred) opens with a blast of guitar noise that suggests heavy-sledding post-rock artsiness to come. But nearly as quickly as it began, the atonal howl of the introduction is replaced by the straightforward, nervy indie rock of "Father's Eyes." Bursts of abstract noise occasionally pierce the songs, like the Sonic Youth-style howl of feedback that bisects the rattling post-punk rant "Camera" and the out-of-nowhere detuned percussion thwacks and broken-glass sounds at the climax of "All Saint's Day." On the whole, however, Mend is at heart a fairly traditional indie guitar album anchored by Martin John Henry's better than average vocals and the solid interplay of the three musicians. Henry resolutely avoids the pained falsetto, à la the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne, that so many similar bands have turned into an indie cliché; even on the largely acoustic, folk-influenced "Hopes and Little Jokes," he stays with an intimate conversational style that helps put across his fairly opaque lyrics. Although not conventionally hooky, the songs imprint themselves after only a couple of listens, making Mend one of the more intriguing U.K. indie debuts of 2006.


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