Rookie Town – Rooted Feral


Artist

Album

Rooted Feral

Label

Independent

Year

2014

For Fans Of

Hands Like Houses, The Amity Affliction

Summary

An interesting hybrid of pop and experimental sounds.

Rating

64 / 100

Rookie Town are stuck between a rock and a hard place; between an instinctive yearning to make music that is clean and satisfying, and a propensity for something that is a little less accessible and a little more indestructible. Rooted Feral is a flirtatious record; at once the EP both entertains elements of pop, particularly in the vocal delivery, as well as more experimental and post-hardcore components, via the erratic instrumentations. If Rookie Town are ever underestimated, their inventive and highly discursive EP should set the record (no pun intended) straight.

Five Months, Five Days’ is a punchy and vigorous first track, led by a belligerent and tortured drumbeat and spiraling electric guitar melodies. The vocals are at first sterile and spirited, however they are soon accompanied by the kind of experimental, post hardcore vocal tremors that suggest that there is more to Rookie Town than meets the eye.

What’s more, ‘Forever Pageantry’ is a track that best demonstrates the hybridity of Rooted Feral. Distinctively pop melodies are driven by a clear and satisfying vocal delivery, and, in kind, they are interspersed with experimental elements. Fitful and uneven instrumental performances and the viciousness of the accompanying vocal shrieks, feature heavily on the EP.

For a small portion of the song, ‘Old Forest Floors’ is ambient and atmospheric. However, the quiet and imperfect instrumentation that it has to offer is interrupted by impulsive changes in pace. Similarly, on ‘River Lonesome’ the record shifts from a weaker kind of delivery, to full throttle. The track begins with the tap of a cymbal and, as the wild and abundant vocal shrieks come into play, the record begins to grow into something more and more unhinged.

Nurturing a vain of manic hostility and hyper-activity, Rookie Town have produced an EP that is as inventive as it is conflicted, or, at least, it appears to be. There are tracks on Rooted Feral that are hard to listen to, like ‘Dandelion Courage,’ and ‘Tree-ish Thing,’ which, in some senses, challenges the listener. Nevertheless, the band provides enough soaring choruses and catchy guitar riffs to ensure their more experimental side doesn’t scare some listeners away.

Conclusion

It’s hard to say if Rookie Town are reluctant to embrace their more adventurous side, or whether they enjoy fusing the accessible with the inaccessible. But, from the quiet instrumental impasses to the mounting vocal hysterics, to the fleshed out, all encompassing chorus, Rooted Feral is an EP that stands out.

Tracklisting

1. Five Months, Five Days

2. Forever Pageantry

3. Old Forest Floors

4. River Lonesome

5. Dandelion Courage

6. Tree-ish Thing

 

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