Poppy, Percussive Ear Candy
Where the foundation of classic rock ends, Rose Hill Drive tends to begin. The band members find themselves among legends at almost every place they turn, opening for such greats as The Who and Aerosmith and crafting throwback rock more than worthy of their touring slot. Though it’s great to hear some of the classics, so to speak, it’s high time that the members of Rose Hill Drive establish their own sound. And with their third album, they’ve finally sent out their mission statement to the world and are seriously having fun in the process.
Americana modernizes the quartet, swapping its classic roots for a more current level of rock. Rose Hill Drive veers in a trajectory tinged with hints of Queens of the Stone Age, occasionally kicking up the playfulness and giving off a vibe more reminiscent of Cage the Elephant. Vocals run amok in almost every track, harmonious to a fault in the half-acoustic romp “Birthdays and Breakups,” and come off just as manic in the definite single “Telepathic.” Electronics play a bigger role as well. Autotune is used as deftly in “Speed Dial” as the organ is in “Pictures of You.” Songs pop and blossom off of each percussive riff, and no matter the instrument, everyone gets a piece of the action.
Closing songs “Birds Against The Glass” and the latter half of “Birthdays and Breakups” are far more thoughtful numbers, ushering in a fine mixture of acoustics and effects. “Birds Against The Glass” sets a fingerpicked guitar in twirling motion, swirling lyrics through each occasional chord struck by those deft fingers. Strings and keys join in the fun, along with beautifully understated drumming even at its most climactic; a definite highlight of Americana. The album sits at a short and sweet nine songs and is mostly ear candy. Though not necessarily substantial, it’s an infectious LP that stays with you long after its mellow close.