Chris Donaghey
Reviews Editor
April 21, 2007
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The Rosebuds Unwind The Rosebuds Unwind
April 12, 2005
Merge Records
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The Rosebuds
Night of the Furies

"Spring is sneaking into our bones," Ivan Howard, lead singer of North Carolina's The Rosebuds, seductively intonates in the lead single of Night of the Furies. Spring is a metaphor often used in terms of optimism, but this line and the remainder of "Get Up Get Out's" lyrics convey a certain level of awkward desperation over a throbbing and infectious disco beat. This dramatic dichotomy, made more poignant when Kelly Crisp offers her vocal duties, is consistently offered throughout the album to the point that the listener is not quite sure about how these opposites are attracting so prepossessingly. The band had yet to experiment heavily with synths and drum machines until this album, but it would be easy to assume that they were seasoned veterans, evoking every sound from Depeche Mode and Duran Duran to atmospheric disco. "My Punishment for Fighting" rides an exceptional bassline toward entrancing areas of melodrama fueled by Howard's echoed vocals. One listen to this song and "Cemetery Lawn" would lead anyone to believe that the "less is more" dynamic does not always hold true in pop music, for the obviously amplified production values and layering of innumerable amounts of tracks make for as strong an effort as this duo has offered. However, the band has not forgotten its penchant for stripped-down catchy nuggets; "Silence by the Lakeside" would not sound out of place on Birds Make Good Neighbors while "Silja Line," though lyrically simple, gloriously builds a simple acoustic hook toward a bewitching apex with goosebump-inducing hand claps and spot-on vocal assistance from the Shout Out Louds. The only downside to this release is that at nine tracks, it leaves us wanting more. The clear upside, though, is evident in less than the forty minutes this album takes to entirely twist its way through your auditory canals before taking up residence in your mind for weeks. With all the synths and pop melodies, Night of the Furies plays like a guilty pleasure, though that may be the point. But it is too enjoyable for you to hold on to the guilt.

Release date: April 10, 2007
Label: Merge
Rating: 8.5 / 10

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