Group Tightener Records
Presenting a covered face may not seem like a logical way for a band to introduce itself. For The Roses, however, it makes perfect sense. The L.A.-based trio makes its debut with a four-song EP full of '80s new-wave synth pop. All 15 minutes of Dreamlover are precise and controlled -- like a more grounded, less ethereal Cocteau Twins or a less synthesized New Order. The cover of Dreamlover features a giant icicle concealing a man's face. That icicle, of course, is heart-shaped.
Ice freezes and thaws throughout Dreamlover. Rat-a-tat drums kick off the bouncy, bright first track. The British-sounding singer/keyboardist Marc Steinberg begins "Florence Girls" sweetly enough: "Oh Florence girls/ don't you want to/ ride the whole way/ home with me." Pleasant icy notes and chords fill the rest of the innocent song about riding the train. Things turn slightly as chilly synths and keyboards reverb with shimmering dissonance on the remaining songs. Single notes pierce "The Fog" with slow insistence while whooshing sound effects end the track. Bassist Victor Herrera begins the aptly titled, "Icicle" with thudding, yet palatable low notes as guitarist/keyboardist Juan Velasquez jots along on the high strings. "It's Over" jangles brightly as Steinberg calmly repeats "I fell hard/ that's OK" throughout the last song. At least thus far, Dreamlover is all we need to truly see The Roses.