Night of the Furies
Raleigh, North Carolina duo The Rosebuds' latest release is an electro-pop concept album, with a storyline straight out of Oscar Wilde's short fiction. Without spoiling the entire plot line, it involves an attack by the Furies on a small town, a forbidden love affair between one of the Furies and a man and even throws in an aside on a Swedish ocean liner. It all holds up pretty well, too, as Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp place their settings in appropriately spooky locations like graveyards, deserted forests and lakesides.
The music stacks up excellently against the horror romance by using all sorts of vintage tropes from new wave's darker progenitors. The minimalist minor key bulid-up on "I Better Run" rings out like a next generation "Enjoy the Silence," while New Order is paid homage on the swelling synth dance melody of "Get Up Get Out." Wisely, The Rosebuds give some nods to their contemporaries as well. Arcade Fire's presence can be felt on the tense and sweaty bass line and choral "ohs" in "Cemetery Lawn" and The Shins' dusk-borne folk-pop expanse stretches out on "Silence By the Lakeside." Night of the Furies is sinister but playful, romantic but far from cloying. In short, it's everything Mates of States should be, too bad The Rosebuds got there first.