In September 2023, retro roots rockers Rowsie released their first full length album. Packed with distorted guitars, it’s the kind of record that proves the influence of bands like Crazy Horse, Uncle Tupelo and Dinosaur Jr never gets old.
A rather left field choice to promote their enjoyable album, ‘Willingness’ can feel sharp and ugly, but it’s also quite exciting. The track offers a raft of stop/start guitar riffs which chop their way through a razor sharp intro, sharing something that sometimes feels close to the angry Americana from the Uncle Tupelo catalogue, but with added rawness that only comes from Rowsie’s own rough and ready sound.. As the track progresses, although the melodies become less disjointed thanks to a flowing bassline used effectively to fill space, nothing actually gets any more tuneful. By the midpoint, the distortion has been cranked, and the band explore sonic tapestries that definitely share musical parallels with Crazy Horse and Trevor & The Joneses. It’s a great example of the band’s noisier side, especially with the way a deep vocal jostles against the live sounding guitar work, and a strong melody gets buried with in the brilliant blusterous sound. It never suggests anything that would be an obvious hit single, but Rowsie surely know this. What it does, and rather effectively once you tune in, is showcase a band who can really work a very natural riff.
The accompanying video is very much at odds with the audio, in a way that deliberately unsettles further still, but its mix of folk horror forestry and atmospheric, almost floaty imagery is oddly compelling. Check out the full clip below.