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Rosy Finch : Witchboro

Better when showing their Stoner/Doom than Grunge/Riot Grrl roots, Rosy Finch nonetheless offer an intriguing debut LP.

The full length debut 'Witchboro' from Spain's Rosy Finch is a diverse conglomerate of styles and influences, that initially I didn't know quite what to make of it, or even if I liked it all that much. As I listened and re-listened it began to grow on me. Slowly at first... Then, finally, I was able to somewhat appreciate what the band were going for here.

My roadblock to enjoyment was the overuse of 90's Seattle musical tropes in the first half of the CD. (The title is broken down into two 'sides': 'Black Hills' and 'Sea of Trees').
The opening track 'Ursula' is a strong Doom/Grunge song with heavy riffs and quixotic vocals sung in Spanish and it's really quite catchy, but then the remainder of the 'Black Hills' side is undeviating Grunge in the vein of Hole, and L7 (with a dusting of Melvins).
To be honest I really didn't care for that stuff in the 90's, and my opinion has only slightly softened over the years (although I do enjoy some Melvins from time to time).

The 'Black Hills' section ends with 'Polvo Zombi' (polvo is Spanish slang for 'screw' by the way) and finally we have Doom, unapologetic Doom! From there it's on to the 'Sea of Trees' portion of 'Witchboro' which is much more experimental and compelling, and in fact contains genuine glimmers of potential for future greatness. The only backslide into Grunge is 'Will O' the Wisp', a peppy but predictable Hole/Nirvana type number that is saved by its Occult Rock leanings and abrupt manic ending.

The remainder of 'Sea of Trees' is a brilliant excursion into Stoner Doom with flourishes of Psychedelic/Space Rock, the highlights of which are 'Mistress of Evil' with its ghostly vocals and simple driving guitar riff that explodes into a gripping percussion-laden jam that's all but impossible not to love, and 'Ligeia' the very doomy, slowly building composition named after the Edgar Allen Poe short story.

'Witchboro' concludes with 'Daphne VS. Apollo', which tries to marry all of the Grunge components of the first half with the Doom elements of the second, but ultimately fails in the attempt by being too grungy overall... That song encapsulates both what is right and what is wrong with the album. Rosy Finch are trying to serve two masters: Riot Grrl/Grunge and Stoner/Doom. In my opinion (and I'm the one writing this review after all) these disparate ingredients make an odd tasting paella (I'm a chef and they're from Spain so...).

I believe that if Rosy Finch were to fully embrace the Stoner/Doom aspect of their musical personality that the world is their oyster (again with the food references) in support to this stance you should check out their cover of 'Foxy Lady' from Magnetic Eye Records Jimi Hendrix tribute LP, it showcases their fortitude as a band. It's the direction that this power-trio should forge (again in my humble opinion), and leave behind the tired Grunge idiom to the has-beens of Rock.

Only the future (and maybe an old Gypsy crone with a crystal ball) may tell what will become of Rosy Finch and which path they will follow... But I have hope.

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Reviewer's rating: 7.5/10


Tracklist :
1. Ursula
2. Hyde Formula
3. Miss Howls
4. Sexkinesia
5. Polvo Zombi
6. Will O' the Wisp
7. Ligeia
8. Mistress of Evil
9. Daphne VS. Apollo

Duration : Approx. 47 minutes

Visit the Rosy Finch bandpage.

Reviewed on 2015-09-29 by Kevin Baird
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