EvilSponge has been enjoying The Rosebuds for a few years now, having first reviewed them way
back in 2004. Since then i have seen them several times and thoroughly enjoyed each of their releases. The Rosebuds are a fun, indie pop band that make catchy songs based on male/female vocal interplay, guitar, keys, and occasional drumming.
Imagine my surprise when i put Night of the Furies in the player and discovered that they had progressed to ... disco? There is a huge synthpop influence on this record, and some songs (notably I Better Run and Get Up Get Out) seem to come directly from the big cheesy 80s. What the heck? There has always been a synthpop undertone to their music, but here, suddenly, it bursts into the foreground, and that is somewhat disconcerting. On first listen, that is. In time i grew to realize that no matter how they do it, The Rosebuds are making catchy pop tunes.
Consider I Better Run, which is, i believe, the first Rosebuds tune featuring lead vocals by Kelly Crisp. She sings tentatively, taking care to enunciate very clearly. It sounds like there is a hesitation in her voice, and it makes the song almost too precious. It is saved by the low bass rumble, a jaunty drum machine riff, and "aahing" chorus sung by her husband Ivan. Overall it's a fun little tune.
Ostensibly (if you read the liner notes) this is a concept album about a guy who falls in love with a Fury who is destroying the town he lives in. I Better Run, which is about mysterious murders, fits in with this theme. The lovely ballad Silence by the Lakeside and the vaguely eerie disco tune Hold On To This Coat also more or less fit. Other tunes were obviously composed with this concept in mind, notably When the Lights Went Dim and, well, the title track.
However, the tune Silja Line (track 7 on the album, well after the
apocalyptic mood has been established) does not fit at all. This is a song
about the war between Sweden and the Polish-Lithuanian Superstate (ask Malimus about
this topic if you really care), something which does not fit in with Furies
destroying a small Southern town. This discrepancy kind of irks me, and if
the song were not so wonderful, it would really be a sore point. However, here
The Rosebuds are joined to great effect by fellow Merge artists (and actual
Swedes) The Shout Out Louds. The song kind of destroys the "concept" nature
of the record, and makes it instead simply yet another collection of catchy
Not that i am complaining at all. The Rosebuds have produced another fine record, and i hope they keep doing so for a long time to come. That is, if The Furies don't get them first...