October 24, 2013

Split: The Wharves / The Rosy Crucifixion

Rockabilly and surf rock collide on this split
 from the UK's The Wharves and The Rosy Crucifixion. 

When I sat down to listen to the new split LP from The Wharves and The Rosy Crucifixion, I immediately knew that this was an album I’d gush about to my friends. Both bands have written some of the most refreshing songs I’ve heard in a long time. I’m genuinely excited about this album and I basically want to put it on repeat all day, every day. It’s just that good. The album is described on Soft Power Records’ website as a “total beast”, and rightly so.

London’s The Wharves open the album with six riff-driven songs, beginning with “Thick Syrup.” Dearbhla Minogue’s guitar work is quite powerful throughout all of their songs. Notes beautifully screech their way out of Minogue’s guitar, and they certainly highlight the songs positively. One of the most striking elements of The Wharves’ sound is the dual vocal stylings of Minogue and bassist Gemma Fleet. Their voices sound quite haunting and ghostly together, giving the songs an eerie quality, most noticeable in “Motif.” Drummer Marion Andrau knows exactly how to compliment her band mates with clever, punchy beats that make even the reserved person want to get up and dance. If I had to categorize this bunch of songs, I’d probably label it spooky surf rock. To be frank, though, The Wharves don’t need to be categorized. They’re a genre all in their own.

The Rosy Crucifixion sounds as if they came straight out of Nashville. Except, they’re from Glasgow, and no band that comes out of Nashville these days sounds nearly as good as The Rosy Crucifixion does. Singer Emily sounds like Wanda Jackson, if Wanda Jackson lived in another universe. The delay effect does wonders on her vocals and also in her guitar tone. Stuart and Conal make up the rhythm section and expertly borrow from the rockabilly greats. They replicate that driving force that made rockabilly so likable, especially noticeable on “Do You Right” and "Dr. Zadien". The Rosy Crucifixion is like rockabilly’s evil cousin – they’ve still got that old school country feel, but they don’t fuck around. Soft Power Records will release the split LP exclusively on vinyl November 25th and they’re only pressing 250 copies. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll order that sucker as soon as it comes out.


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Kayla Kinney, a writer and musician from the south suburbs of Chicago and you can read her tweets here. When she isn't busy scouting out new music to listen to, she likes to watch reruns of The X-Files and obsess over anything Daniel Clowes has ever created.