CD REVIEW: Roses for Lola - Self Titled
by: Cyrus Rhodes
Roses for Lola
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Americana, Indie-Rock, Psychedelic Punk
Sounds Like: Franz Ferdinand, The Soup Dragons, The Violent Femmes, Fastball, The Who
Technical Grade: 8/10
Weakness: A few winded songs, a few short sided songs, Short Sided CD
Roses for Lola is an interesting musical project based out of Chicago. Band members consist of Michael Schaerer (Instruments), Steven D. Hunt (Drums) and Jimmy Mint (vocals). FULL ALBUM available on iTunes, AmazonMP3! This effort took 18 months in the works.
The CD kicks gets off the ground nicely with Soaked a smooth flowing psychedelic intro piece that serves up classic Americana-Indie groove meshed against thought provoking lyrical content and effective harmonies from Mint and company. Track 2 the title track keeps things moving in the right direction with hard hitting intro against steady flowing rhythm, rocked-out guitar ambience, painted against hooky chorus making for an impressive follow-up statement. Track 3 “No More She” is another impressive groove that dishes out driving rock rhythm, impressive vocal feel and thought provoking lyrical content that flows and ebbs its way through to motional fruition. The CD makes a great first impression dashing out 3 amazing songs in a row. The musicianship of everyone involved is clearly above the bar. I would classify this music as classic Indie Rock, Americana, with brief touches of Americana Folk, to Psychedelic Rock and Punk of the 70’s. Music is reminiscent of Franz Ferdinand, The Soup Dragons, The Violent Femmes, Fastball, and even The Who to The Rolling Stones. Along the way you will notice lush instrumentation with things like impressive rhythm guitar, bluesy riffs, impressive solo guitar, well placed piano, lush harmonies layered everywhere all built upon a thick as a brick rhythm section. What I like the most about this band is how well they seem to groove together, testament to hundreds of hours of writing and rehearsal time no doubt. Now turning our attention over to Mint - as for his vocal abilities well he’s quite melodic. His voice goes down smooth and fills the space peacefully and unobtrusively with a timber that's infectious. I might add he takes some impressive vocal risks indicating to me a confident vocal ability. All songs are a bit trippy giving one rare access into the tormented soul of a quintessential artist. I would even call the songwriting borderline brilliant. This CD from Roses for Lola delivers 9 solid tracks all providing musical enjoyment filled with strong musical variety and diversity. The music of Jacob Acosta has everything you would expect from a world class musical production. From psychedelic My Pretension (Feel Better) to slamming “The Word is That” to melodic “Just a Little” to bluesy “When I Used to Cry” to heartfelt “Loneliness of Stars” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 9 “My Protection (Ought Not Put On a Show) the perfect finale statement for a CD like this.
It’s hard to find any serious weaknesses with this release. All songs over 3.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. All songs under 2.5 feel like incomplete musical statements. The CD is at bit short with only 9 tracks..
From start to finish Roses for Lola an amazing collection of music. The songwriting – the gold standard, all consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair, and signature groove. Note for note, song for song there isn’t really weak piece on this entire catalog. The writing and playing abilities of Mint and company are rock solid. The melodies and harmonies are well crafted, and the lyrical content is packed to the hilt with good old fashioned no holds barred Psychedelic-Indie-Rock flair. At the end of the day Roses for Lola brings the mojo and is clearly a marquee talent based out of Chicago. One would be wise to keep a watchful eye on him as this Summer unfolds.s.