After a critically popular debut with Merge called The Rosebuds Make Out, the North Carolina duo (plus guests) return with a six-song EP to precede their upcoming sophomore full-length. This husband and wife team is like the poppy cousins of the Kills, the scrappy older brother and sister to the White Stripes, and the upstart children of Richard and Linda Thompson. Although label Merge is headquartered in North Carolina, it is not exactly known as the hotbed of musical activity the way other, less agrarian states are. Regardless, the Rosebuds deliver high velocity pop-rock the likes of which the tobacco state had never seen.
“You Better Get Ready” kicks off the album with a turbo boost of blues and punk that sounds as if Jack White and the Ramones sat in together. Throw in some sixties pop references in singing “the beat goes on” and you’ll get some semblance of an idea. “El Camino,” the second song on the album, mixes the surf guitars found in Angelo Badalamenti’s soundtracks, the building energy of an early Radiohead song, and the vocal passions of a Jeff Buckley or Chris Martin, though not as polished or trained.
In fact, there are more than a couple of songs on this EP which do sound like a southern-fried Coldplay. Solid and tight pop songs, mid-tempo, with soul and depth. Not many would try to make that comparison, and the Rosebuds will probably not get the `next Coldplay’ tag, but there are definite similarities. The title track (sort of), “Unwind,” is as sunny and sweet as pop songs get and quickly has become one of my favorite single tunes of the year. This song, along with closer “I’d Feel Better,” are well worth the price of the EP. If this doesn’t whet your appetite for their full-length, I’d be surprised.
The Kills- No Wow
Yo La Tengo- I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One