I recently had
told a friend, who knows DeRosa, that the guy looks like Danzig,
to which my pal laughed and said he needed to tell him (he also referred to him
as “a real solid dude, a great guy”). As
it turns out, DeRosa was born in Lodi, NJ, where Danzig began The Misfits, but
was raised in the Jersey Shore town of Manasquan (being a Jersey Shore guy
myself, Ocean City, N.J., I surfed there once). I had heard DeRosa’s more
ambient project, Aarktica, and wasn’t completely impressed (also, Pale Horse and
Rider, another one of his musical projects) but upon hearing his Anchor ep from last year, I spotted some
serious talent – also good taste, as he covered The Chills’ “Submarine Bells” –
which leads me to believe that I should revisit some of those Aarktica records.
One thing is for sure: DeRosa needs to release more records under his own name.
So far he’s batting .1000!
On the opening
cut, “Birds of Brooklyn” you’re immediately struck by the smoothness of his
deep voice; think Scott Walker, Leonard Cohen and, to a certain extent, Nick Cave.
The intriguing melody and swooping orchestration bring home a winner. Same with
the stunning “True Men” in which DeRosa namechecks both Robert Mitchum and
William Holden amidst a swirling backdrop of crying strings. “Teenage Goths”
kicks the tempo up into 3rd gear with a choppy, start/stop cut that
melds into a dancing melody (same with “Who Decides?”), while “Easter Parade”
gives it the neatly-trimmed tag of chamber-pop with DeRosa’s croon in full effect.
And on “Ladies in Love,” well, there won’t be a dry eye in the house by the
listening, this will end up on several best of 2012 lists – including my own.
DOWNLOAD: “Birds of Brooklyn”,
“True Men”, “Teenage Goths”, “Who Decides?”, “Don’t Say Goodnight” TIM HINELY