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THE ROSEBUDS w/ The Comas and Hopewell






East Atlanta , GA

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It seems that in the world after the closing of The Echo Lounge, there have been more shows at The EARL that consist of just touring bands. This is one such show, and it was a really enjoyable concert featuring three fun performances.

Up first on this evening was Hopewell. A few years back some online buddy pointed me to Hopewell's album The Curved Glass as a good space rock disc. And indeed, there were lots of interesting things going on there. However, in the intervening 4 years or so, i had heard nothing from the band, so when signs at The EARL announcing an upcoming performance began appearing, i got rather excited. I like this type of music, and seeing a good space rock performance is a rare treat, especially seeing as i had assumed that the band in question had broken up. Well, it turns out that Hopewell includes a few members of Mercury Rev, so their involvement with that other, better know spacey rock band explains Hopewell's relative inactivity.

Hopewell are a five piece band, including a mohawked drummer (on loan from some punkier band i guess), a keyboardist, two guitarists, and a bassist. I must confess to being unsure just which members are also involved with Mercury Rev, as i have never seen the Rev live. Oh well, i guess that's not too important.

Hopewell started their set with a nice, loud spacey jam that really set the mood. They then proceeded to play solid indie pop with nice vocal harmonies, rocking choruses, and epic keyboard sounds. The rhythm section played crisply, reminding me of the solid rhythms that backed up Magazine, or one of those post-punk bands. The vocals reminded me of Wayne Coyne or Roger Waters in that the singer had a vaguely hi-pitched, slightly nasally voice. It really worked with the type of rocking yet spacey music that they were creating. Overall i found their music to be catchier than i would have expected; i guess that live they are more rock, less space. Either way, it was a very fun set, and i hope to see more from this band.

The next act were The Comas, who apparently i have seen before. Tracers owns one of their albums, and she swears that we both had seen them before, and yet i have no memory of that. Strange. At any rate, The Comas are another five-piece band, and in fact have the same instrument makeup as Hopewell. Tonight they started with a nice, psychedelic, Elephant 6 damaged tune. The bulk of their set was very similar -- vaguely psychedelic, organ-drenched, yet catchy tunes. The only exceptions were a couple of more minimal numbers, wherein the lead Coma almost played solo. I found that i liked the songs with the entire band more than his singer/songwriter tunes, but even those weren't bad.

Finally, The Rosebuds took the stage. I have seen them before, and found them to be really enjoyable in concert last time. Well tonight they did not disappoint. This time the band played as a four-piece, adding an extra guitarist to the keyboard, guitar, and drum sounds. Last time i saw them they were plagued by keyboard troubles (as in, the keyboards were never mixed right), but tonight the sound guy had it together. I could here the keyboardist's competent playing well enough, and it served as a good accompaniment to the two guitar attack. In fact, with this new setup and the proper mix, The Rosebuds come across as the natural fusion of the Chapel Hill guitar-based indie rock sound with some good old fashioned New Wave thrown in. It was great fun, even if many of the songs they played tonight (apparently off of their new EP) were a little mellower than the work on their debut album.

In summary, this was a really fun night full of vocal harmonies and keyboard accented pop. All three bands put on excellent sets, and i had a really fun time. Each of these bands is someone to watch out for.

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  The Rosebuds also rocked The EARL in July of 2004.

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