The Rosebuds – Night Of The Furies

The Rosebuds - Night Of The FuriesThe RosebudsNight Of The Furies (Merge)

My knowledge of Roman mythology is pretty slim, but I’m fairly sure that Furies were pretty intimidating creatures, sporting snakes for hair, bird wings, and blooding dripping out of their eye sockets. To be honest, I’m more familiar with the Furies found in the movie The Warriors, the baseball uniform wearing gang that chased our heroes to battle in Riverside Park. They were pretty intimidating too, if I recall, darting around the shadows of Manhattan with baseball bats and Kiss makeup.

The Furies referenced throughout The Rosebud’s third album, Night Of The Furies, have more to do with the avenging creatures of mythology than of a late-twentieth century movie character. But there’s nothing vengeful about the music that the husband and wife duo (Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp) have created here. However, some longtime fans may be a little unforgiving when they hear the direction that the band is taking on their latest effort.

The acoustic arrangements of their previous album (2005’s Birds Make Good Neighbors) are gone, replaced by layers of synthesizers straight out of 1984. It’s a risky move, for sure, but the outcome is rewarding. The melancholia that engulfs the songs throughout Furies has found a perfect complement within the band’s blatant nod to eighties synth-pop.

Howard frequently channels New Order’s Bernard Sumner while his better half takes a few dark turns. On “I Better Run,” she references a plot of land inherited from a dead Grandmother before considering her Aunt Diane who’s “probably dead / But dead in a secret place / From drugs, dirty murder / Or some such thing / Under a bridge / In a trailer / Or in the woods.”

It’s also wonderfully sequenced, bouncing from poppy eighties travels to dark electronic corners within a couple of tracks. Before you know it, the album is over and I’m hard pressed to single out a dud on it.

So, aside from a vague reference to an overall concept involving furies, the real theme here is the nocturnal landscape that The Rosebuds have ventured into on their latest. I’m hoping they’ll continue with this direction on subsequent releases, as there’s a lot of potential in the darkness they’re exploring Night Of The Furies.

MP3: The Rosebuds – “Get Up Get Out”

The Rosebuds – “Silence By The Lakeside”

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