The Rosebuds, Birds Make Good Neighbors

The Rosebuds, Birds Make Good Neighbors

You know how sometimes you think to yourself, “Man, I wish I could listen to something just a little Shins-y but not quite so upbeat. A little Smiths-y at the same time would really hit the spot”?

Okay, nobody ever thinks that. But if you did, The Rosebuds would fit the bill perfectly. An old-school indie band out of Raleigh, North Carolina, The Rosebuds evoke not only the bands above, but also other recent breakout bands such as Bloc Party, Franz Ferdinand, and the New Pornographers. Husband and wife Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp share vocals on most of the songs and, not surprisingly, use their relationship as source material for much of the lyrics on the album.

The album holds together as a whole very well, transitioning from song to song without too much jarring, and yet at the same time managing to not sound like the same song over and over. “Hold Hands and Fight”, the first track and one of the strongest on the album, starts slow and then breaks into a more vibrant ending — in sound very reminiscent of the Old 97s. “Boxcar”, another very strong track, further energizes the listener with a nice driving guitar before giving way to the more folksy “Leaves Do Fall”. “Wildcat” slows everything down to near Nick Drake levels before giving way to “The Lover’s Rights”, the most Smiths-y song on the album (okay, last time I use that made up word, I promise). “Blue Bird” is a nice dreamy interlude, but not terribly memorable, before moving on to the more straight-ahead classic rock sound of “Outnumbered”. “Shake Our Tree” is probably the most fun song on the album, a playful call and response between husband and wife. “Let Us Go” and “Warm Where You Lay” are both pleasant enough, but quite forgettable, and not quite as catchy as the rest of the album. The final track, “4-Track Love Song”, while musically very different than the rest of the album — having more in common with a Projekt compilation than with the pop sound of the preceding material — shows that the band does have an impressive range of musical styles to draw from.

All in all, a great sophomore effort from a band with a great sound that seems to be evolving.

(Merge Records -- P.O. Box 1235, Chapel Hill, NC. 27514;; The Rosebuds --
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Tuesday, January 24th, 2006. Filed under Reviews.

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