4 days to go until the 4th Annual Parking Lot Blowout at Surly Girl.
Speaking of surly girls, our fourth band is:ROSEHIPS!
The Rosehips played the first ever Parking Lot Blowout and we've been enamored with them ever since. This set will be bittersweet though, as it will be one of bassist Jill Harrison's last shows with the band (she's moving out West and we will miss her very much).
Here's a review of their album from The Other Paper:
Rocking like the boys, but without the angst
With an all-female lineup, Rosehips is likely to be forever linked to the women-in-rock debate. After 50-odd years of feminine contributions to popular music, one would think it to be a moot point. Women can rock, and prove it on a daily basis.
The real topic to explore is how women rock, upon which Rosehips' self-titled debut album sheds some light.
Women and men think and create differently, which should be expected. Rosehips is simply smart enough to follow its own sonic muse and create music the way it wants, as women with guitars should feel comfortable doing.
The band brings a softer, more emotionally balanced take on the boys' world of angsty indie guitar rock without shedding an iota of volume or power. It sounds like Superchunk's smart younger sister, the one with a cup of tea rattling on top of her amp and spilling over onto a stack of Sassy magazines and post-riot grrl poetry chapbooks.
With the opening track, "Enough," the band cleverly inverts and mellows the chugging intro to Smashing Pumpkins' "Cherub Rock," then follows a course into its own take on post-punk guitar rock, like a sunnier Husker Du.
Even better is the smoldering, heavy "The Dead Are Watching," which sounds like the Raincoats covering early Sondgarden on a mash-note anthem etched onto a Sup Pop Singles Club seven-inch.
The real kicker, and the sort of thing the boys can never pull off, is the sweet, defiant little-girl vocals of Cassie Lewis. Her voice is heartbreakingly delicate yet at the same time packs a surprisingly strong wallop.
In addition, the backing vocals alone tug at the heartstrings enough to keep anyone engaged, a trick performers like the Breeders and Veruca Salt knew a decade or more ago.
The album isn't consistently strong, and much of the best material is front-loaded at the beginning of the disc, but that is to be expected from a band less than 2 years old. The stuff that is good is good enough to keep the group on your radar.
The album is wrapped up wonderfully with a solo-piano-and-vocals reprise of "The Dead Are Watching" that strips all of the haunting beauty of that number down to its core, as exposed as a broken heart on a bloddy sleeve.
Few men could pull off the naked longing of Lewis's vocals on this number, which just goes to show you that some jobs are best left to the fairer sex.
You can check their music out here: http://www.myspace.com/rosehipsgirls