R50 - Rosco
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
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.
a friend about this article
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