Monday, May 21, 2018

Record Review:
Las Rosas
"Shadow By Your Side"
(Greenway Records)

$19.98 //
First Pressing of 800 Copies Worldwide // //

Did you ever feel something so intensely that you just couldn't put it into words?  As someone who writes about music, I shouldn't have this problem but Las Rosas brings it out in me.   There is this feeling of classic rock and modern rock (all the way up to something that you could currently hear on the radio) and while all these artists come rushing in for comparison there just exists this strong connection that I cannot fully place the depth of this rock n roll record.

Dreamy classic rock makes me think of Spacehog and Kula Shaker right away.   It has that 1990's kind of known about but kind of forgotten about band feel.  You know, someone like Supergrass that you would know if you were a certain age in the '90's but if you were born after them or just too young (or too old) they'd have passed you by.    Though I just as much feel bits of America, the band who did the "Horse With No Name" song, on here as complex guitars shine on through.

Parts of this remind me of Lucero, though in all fairness I've only ever really got into "Nobody's Darlings" and after that kind of fell off track with that band but I think they're still making music.   It also can have a sense of Fastball, going back to my '90's idea, and then there is even this "Pinball Wizard" growth in here which is of course The Who and goes along with the complexity of the guitars and having a classic feel yet being ahead of its time as well.

"Tax Man"- which is only the second song- has this great radio feel to it.   The lyrics are about money and why you feel like you work so hard and never have any, so in that way it's an anthem of sorts I think most people could get behind (Please don't start a 1% debate in the comments, thanks) because who doesn't want to have more money or at least feel like they should.   At the same time, it's just this groovy indie rock song you could hear on the radio as it brings out some odd mixture of Interpol, Franz Ferdinand, Modest Mouse, X Ambassadors and yet also something all its own.   (And maybe even a little bit of The Killers)

There is a great driving feel to "Christa", with the dark red hair and "Me Myself" brings out some Superdrag by way of The Oneders.   "Nothing's Wrong" ends Side A with what might happen if the Smoking Popes were to somehow collaborate with Buddy Holly.    Just as with "Tax Man", I feel like "Losing No Sleep" could just as easily be a radio hit.   It's this sort of rock ballad that has me thinking of the soundtrack to "Empire Records", which is never a bad thing.   It takes until the last song though before I finally realize that one of the stronger influences I feel coming through as well is The Honorary Title.

As with most of the best rock n roll records, the lyrics give you a lot to quote.  Something seemingly as simple as "I'll be over here I guess" is rather vital when taken in context.   I do like the idea of "I could walk out in the middle of the night but I'd wind up missing you" as people don't seem to reflect that same sentiment as much these days.  Of course the notion of "Why'd you have to fool around and die" can be taken any number of ways towards any number of people really (We probably all know someone we could ask that question of)

Of course the most prominent line I take from all of this is "I don't understand how we're so broke" so "Tax Man".   Not just a commentary on the workforce itself (doing that 9 to 5 thing) and the economy and all of that, but it can be taken as a stance from an artist as well.   That whole notion of "I can't offer you any money but this will look great on your resume"-- that sort of bullshit.   But for me it's more of a reminder about what I've been saying for the last five years about how everything in the arts community seems upside down with the less talented getting the most money and, well, that needs to change.

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