Rosedale – ‘Again’

By Chris Hilson

Although initially formed as a band, since the 2012 release of debut album ‘Real’ Rosedale has very much become a personal and individual outlet for the creativity of self-confessed workaholic Mike Liorti. It also helps that Mike’s vocals are made for pop punk. There’s a warmth and familiarity to them that draws you in from the very beginning and will stay stuck in your head long after the EP has ended.

Each of the five songs is a finely polished pop punk gem just waiting to be unearthed. ‘What We Started’ is a perfect example of how to write soaring, positive pop punk. In addition to Mike’s vocals, the perfectly layered drums and guitar chords combine to produce a song that is anthemic and elegantly simple at the same time.

Throughout ‘Again’, pop punk motifs are constantly given new twists. ‘Snapped In Two’ bounces around in a riot of colour as driving rock verses lead to a chorus that is packed full of confidence and spot on melodic hooks. ‘This Dissonance’ is as far removed from the territory of token slow song as possible. Not only does it stay well clear of bland ballad territory, but the purposeful riffs give every word of the lyrics time to sink in in a way that would make Jimmy Eat World sick with envy. And ‘Space Mountain’ is quite simply the best rollercoaster-themed song ever, sorry Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Sometimes you need to break an EP down to a microscopic level and to dissect every note to find its appeal, but ‘Again’ has it plastered on the side of a venue in giant glowing neon letters. There’s a wide-eyed innocence and sense of pure fun that stands out on a release that is free of the jaded cynicism and the feeling of bands cashing in that has been creeping into the genre.

‘Again’ not only delivers some of the most outwardly enjoyable and joyous pop punk anthems of the year, but at its heart is an understanding of how music can be a crucial part of someone’s life in a way that few other bands can convey.


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