by Thomas Bedward November 13, 2020
One of Wincanton’s most promising musical exports, Blood Red Rose have taken the underground by storm thanks to the recent release of their debut album, ‘Reflections’, winning over fans and critics alike with their dark indie sounds. After rightfully championing the album across our social media pages, the time has finally come to give it a proper spotlight.
Written, recorded, produced, and mixed by the band in their own makeshift studio, ‘Reflections’ is a true labour of love, proving that the rough and ready indie rock of the early 2000s is still going strong today. As an album, ‘Reflections’ it's built on sporadic and free-flowing energy, one that drifts between styles and genres, pushing for new creative space and refusing to be pigeon-holed or formally defined. In true form, the eleven tracks on the album revel in a free-spirited and truly universal ethos, with the band explaining, “ the songs are about things we were thinking, and we wrote ‘em down, and when you listen to ‘em, whatever you think it’s about, that’s what it’s about!”,
Opening with lead single ‘Linger’, the album sets an immediate tone, fading into existence with a dark and unmistakable 80’s vibe. Set against melodic percussion, sweeping, shoegaze guitars, and emotive, droning vocals that ebb and flow throughout, ‘Linger’ brings about instant comparisons with post-punk and new wave titans like Joy Division, The Psychedelic Furs, and The Cure. An intoxicating opening number ‘Linger’ is a perfect introduction to the band and the album, one that is both dark and mysterious, but also wonderfully uplifting. As the record continues, ‘Walk In My Town’ arrives with newfound energy and immediacy, showcasing Blood Red Rose’s ability to create glistening indie anthems, while the near seven-minute epic of ‘Rise Up’ proves they can also dish out classic rock anthemics with ease. Together they’re a powerful trilogy of tracks, one that creates a dynamic, evolving soundscape that lingers and builds in revolving folds. It’s a stunning opening gambit, one that slowly eclipses all other sound and draws you in before launching into a fittingly rebellious flourish.
Proving they’re more than just another DIY band with only one sound to their name, Blood Red Rose continue to impress with the likes of ‘Broken Records’, a jagged, quirky song that shines with experimental flair, ‘Last Fight’, which revels in golden age indie sounds, and the immutable ‘Black Night Dawn’, a sultry minimalist piece that builds into an acoustic high, offering hints at some dominant grunge overtones and creating powerful call back to the sounds of Pearl Jam and the mid-90s. Impressive as the album is already, the latter half has more tricks and surprises instore, forcing its way into a fierce medley of crashing percussion, quick-fire chords, and rough snarling vocals on the animalistic ‘Candy Sweet’, and final trilogy of rough cut rock anthems in ‘The Answer’, ‘Radio Gods’, and ‘Watching Over’.
Nothing however can compare to the closing triumph that is ‘Come On’. A return to the textured indie sounds that first started the album, ‘Come On’ is a melancholic number that perfectly illustrates the band’s immersive sound, bringing everything to a close with a final flourish of lo-fi indie sounds.
On the surface, it’s easy to see ‘Reflections’ as another DIY, cult classic, one that delivers original and quirky indie rock tracks time and time again, but beneath that, it’s much, much more. As the band have said, ‘Reflections’ is an album open to interpretation one where the songs shift and change to reflect the listener’s experiences, and while we can write endlessly about the weight, power, and intrigue wrapped up within the eleven tracks, the best way to experience the album is to just dive in for yourself.
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