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The RovesEl Rancho
The Big Silver
Released: 3rd July 2020
|12"||£13.99||Buy Now||In Stock. Dispatched on Monday.|
The Roves return this summer with ‘The Big Silver’ EP following on from the success of their last single ‘Hey Little Man’ (El Rancho) which cracked the door open at 6 Music and found fans in Gideon Coe, Iggy Pop, Bobby Gillespie, Stephen Pastel and with radio DJs from Mardid to Austin.
The Roves were back at KONK studios in London to record and mix the four songs on ‘The Big Silver’ and working again with engineer Josh Green they have pushed their sound and songwriting further than on any release so far. The EP will be released physically as a 12” vinyl as well as digitally. The lead track ‘Fixing To Burn’ (19/06/20) will precede the EP release and has a video produced by Tom from the band.
The Roves are made up of the songwriting brothers James & Tom Wing alongside Luke Evans (Bass) & Brendan Monahan (Drums). The band hail from the suburbs of North London and play guitar fuelled British rock and roll music with melody and charm. Since forming in 2017 the band have released two stunning albums ‘ The Roves ’ (One Big Movement) and ‘ All Those Freaks ’ (Meritorio). In autumn last year The Roves were kept busy on the road touring as main support for Nick Waterhouse (EU), Primal Scream (UK) and YAK (UK).
On ‘The Big Silver’ the Wing brothers split songwriting duties for the first time, taking a side each and complementing each other’s observational and reflective styles. The lead single ‘Fixing To Burn’ (Released 19th June 2020) is a raw, terse view on gun control from the mind of an outsider “ I’ve got a gun and it’s so much fun, whoever said only the good die young”. Written by main songwriter James (alongside long time co-writer Rhys Kempley) The Roves sound intrepid, immediate and scathing, yet have the knack of coating witty cynicism over the subject matter: “In their nice leather shoes, singing songs about the blues, drinking moonshine out of a champagne flute” paints a vivid portrait of the type of contradictions and hypocrisy seen and heard in society. The Roves heighten the drama with the use of
synthesizers - that sound like a breaking news report, to dizzying effect. As always the band are locked into a driving rhythm and groove, with their signature spirling guitar motif colouring the track and balancing out the darker topic.
Track two ‘Fear’ opens with the lines: “Walking back through Finchley. Saw some blazer boys dancing at a garden party” and straight in we’re hooked, locked in for another observational songwriting delight. James continues through the first verse accompanied with only quick strums of his guitar before the band join him for a foot tapping, r&b styled groove which is vivacious and relentless till the end. As in ‘Fixing to Burn’ we have a lost protagonist who has issues with gentrification: “They turned my town hall into luxury apartments. Got you all moving in turn the pubs to wine bars” , and getting into trouble: “Next stop my face behind a window and a bobby’s blue light”. As the track nears the end James’s anguished vocals sound like a young Weller on the line: “Burn the names of cinemas from the yellow pages. My achievements span the ages”, with the tongue in cheek humor of Warren Zevon. Incisive conversational led lyrics are packed into verse after verse, and with no chorus in the song structure, ‘Fear’ is an unusually great pop song.
On the B side (for purists, tracks three and four the digital demographic) Tom steps up to deliver two gorgeous gems of idyllic art pop. ‘The Odd Pupil’ is a majestic, lush composition which ruminates on a lost love: “ I’m yearning, concerning, My love in vain for yous still burning” . The song has a haunted mid-60’s feel, which is underpinned by two beautiful, sweeping cellos and matched with a string piano and some vibey bongo drum percussion. In two and a half minutes ‘The Odd Pupil’ perfectly balances Beach Boys esque pop with fuzzy guitar distortion. Tom’s hazy vocals match the reflective lyrics until the end where frustration gets the better of him and he pleads; “Tell me girl” over and over in an amalgam of Ray Davies and Kurt Cobain.
‘Thugs For God’ is another blissfully nostalgic track which opens with the gentle strumming of an autoharp beforeTom reflects on a personal relationship, lamenting pensively: “ I haven’t been tactile to touch. But now I guess it don’t take much” . It's an admirable sentiment which makes this bizarrely titled track the most intimate of the EP. James joins in on the bridge to deliver the EPs first clear sign of a harmony, wistfully backing: “ And all these things I took for granted, running around my head”, accompanied by otherworldly sound effects which linger throughout the song but hit angelic, choral like proportions in the chorus. The band change tempo in the chorus to match Tom’s discontent as he takes the reins to deliver a demure shot on love: ‘ Cos’ love is a word that’s bandied around. Without any worth run into the ground, no no no” . The additional vocals of Veronica Dajani play out as a daydream and a memory of love as the melancholic tune drifts off spiraling into the sky.