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R50 - Rosco
by antiGUY

Frankly we get literally hundreds of independently released CD’s a year from bands that would like us to cover them. So it takes some time to wade through the stacks of CDs to select the ones that we in our snobbish wisdom feel deserve the coverage. That being said, the CD you are about to read about comes from a band that have since changed their name from Rosco to R50 and already have another CD almost ready to release.  Now that we have the preliminaries taken care of, let’s get to what really matters; the MUSIC! 

If you’re looking to win a cynic like myself over right out of the gate then leading off a cd with a track like “Teen Idol” is the perfect battle plan. Forget the music for a minute and concentrate on the lyrics that blast the teen pop scene for it’s superficial and shallow gimmicks. “Monkey that dance / Just like you / You’ve got adoring fans that worship you / Platinum records cover your walls / Your Barbi Doll comes out in the Fall / You know and I know / That everybody is just laughin’ at you / Teen Idol … you ain’t got it….” 

The great news is the music backs it up! Think powerpop that’s a bit rough around the edges sort of like what you’d get if you put The Ramones, Tom Petty, Jackson Browne, The Plimsouls' and The J Geils Band together in a studio and told them to come up with some music. Yes, those are some older names but the music does have a 70’s power-pop feel but R50 also captures a bit of Jimmy Eat World meets the Goo Goo Dolls (when they are rockin’). The ingredients are all here for success; a mix of fuzzy guitars, gruffy and melodic vocals with rich melodies, catchy hooks and driving beats. 

R50 write songs with hooks that just don’t quit. Their choruses grab hold and make you sing along but they still rock! I don’t know how they tapped into the formula but these guys found the absolute perfect balance between rock and pop where they don’t have to sacrifice either to accomplish their musical goals.  I know some people will want to put a pop-punk label on these guys but that doesn’t really work. The vocals are far too gritty and riffs go beyond the standard pop-punk formula. 

Like with most really cool CD’s, I have a hard time picking favorite tracks, so I’ll just say tracks 1 through 10 are your best bets. 

I’m actually astonished that this CD is self-released. The quality here is on par with the music we are getting from major labels today. Screw that, it’s better than most bands we are getting from the bigboys these days. Under the surface R50 comes across as working-class heroes with a penchant for melody. They shouldn’t have any “credibility” issues; they are the real deal. 

CD Info 

Rosco – Rosco
Label: Deluxe
Teen Idol
I Can Take This
Everything To Me
The Only One
Built To Last
I Won’t Complain
Don’t Count Me Out
Suck It Up
Turn Off
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