The Least Pretentious Pop Duo in the Carolinas

Charleston City Paper | November 22, 2005

The Rosebuds
w/ The Explorers Club
Thurs. Oct. 27
10 p.m.
Village Tavern
1055 Johnnie Dodds Blvd.

Mining a range of classic pop and rock styles, N.C. band The Rosebuds have enjoyed increasing success and popularity in the Southeast and beyond. With two fresh Merge Records releases under their belt, they return to road this seasonfor another series of high-steppin' rock shows.

The band kicked off almost accidentally in 2001 when newlywed keyboardist Kelly Crisp and singer-guitarist Ivan Howard began putting song ideas together over the noise of an old Sears drum machine. By '02, the 'Buds recorded and released an impressive debut full length, Make Out. The 11-song collection was a bright, upbeat, unpretentious slab of guitar-pop pop.

The band's most recent release, a full-length collection titled Birds Make Good Neighbors (Merge), features production from Brian Paulson. Howard asserts his raw, heartfelt vocal style on the lead-off track "Hold Hands and Fight," which ambles with only voice and tambourine for the first chorus or two. The band's signature "classic pop" sound weaves through the rest of the collection. There's the rockabilly swing and reverberation of "Leaves do Fall" and "The Lovers Rights." There's the straight ahead, three-chord, power-pop of "Shake Our Tree," "Outnumbered," and "Boxcar." And there's the strummy breeziness of "Let us Go" and "Wildcat."

"Structurally, I think the songs are similar to those on the last record," says Crisp. "There may be some more complicated stuff, but we've moved forward on the vocals and the lyrics. Especially since the songs have slowed down just a bit, they lend themselves better than the rave-ups. And the role of the keyboards has expanded beyond just providing a bass line, too."

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