BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
The Rosebuds take an unusual turn on the cryptically titled Sand + Silence, seeming to draw on former pop precedents in ways that are, by turn, both charming and occasionally challenging. Their fondness for emulating icons of an earlier era isn’t altogether unexpected, however; past contributions to tribute albums for the Cure and the Pixies show they find reverence a relevant factor when it comes to sizing up their sound.
Still, this approach can carry risk. Given that parts of the album seem intentionally radio-ready, there’s reason to suspect the Rosebuds may have shed their thornier side to win greater acceptance. Happily though, they’re able to dispute that notion with entries that remain unerringly intriguing. “Give Me a Reason,” for example, is a terrific torch song with a slightly elusive appeal. “Blue Eyes,” and “Walking” come on like a pure rush of adrenalin, each a shift into higher gear. Similarly, the effusive “Mine Mine Mine” also ratchets up the energy, reflecting this North Carolina combo’s firm grasp on their steadfast rock regimen. So too, album opener “In My Teeth,” with its shadowy blend of intrigue and intimidation, proves decidedly that any attempt to pigeonhole this bunch is bound to end in failure. It’s nice to know that after more than 12 years of plying their craft, the Rosebuds still continue to blossom.
DOWNLOAD: “Give Me a Reason,” “Blue Eyes,” “Mine Mine Mine”