Passion and Play
Sometimes two people have just the right chemistry, not only in love but also in music. Such is the case with The Rosebuds, a twosome band started the week after the members wed. Their second album, Birds Make Good Neighbors is made of the right balance of passion and play.The sound is a blend of the past 50 years of pop music, from the doo-wop backing vocals of “Hold Hands and Fight” to the rockabilly guitar of “Outnumbered” to the Morrissey-style vocals of “The Lovers’ Rights.” It is catchy and melodic, and one might find him or herself whistling tunes after just one listen. Ivan Howard specializes in the main vocals and guitar and his wife Kelly Crisp plays the keyboards and provides backing vocals. Though technology allows them to be every component of the band, they invite Lee Waters of Work Clothes to play drums and Wes Phillips from Ticonderoga to play the upright bass on the album.
Luckily, the lyrics aren’t all kitschy love songs as one might expect. They are imaginative and thought-provoking. For example, the storyline from the best track off of Birds, “Boxcar” is, (as the name suggests), akin to that of the book The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner. The song, like the book, is an adventurous play of “house” sans adults, fraught with dark emotional innuendos.
The relationship Howard and Crisp have causes their music to be multifaceted. It is enthusiastic, warm, comfortable, funny, dark and intriguing with all of their influences combining to create a smooth pop effect. Birds should keep the public on the edge of their seat, eagerly awaiting The Rosebudsâ€šÃ„Ã´ next endeavor.