Well, everybody knows I’m a sucker for a good, kickass female-fronted rock/metal band. In This Moment, Halestorm, Huntress, Kobra and the Lotus, and of course, the almighty DORO are some of my absolute favorites. So when I was asked to check out Roses Unread’s self-titled third album, of course I said yes. I have to say, there’s some good stuff going on with these guys/gal. There are elements of Sevendust right off the bat, who I also love, and a little Breaking Benjamin (who need to hurry up and put something out!), also a winner, but at the same time the band manages to retain their own identity in a musical landscape littered with clones and wannabes.
After the intro “My Way” immediately has that Sevendust vibe I mentioned, and we’re off to a good start. Led by vocalist Allison Teague Purifoy and her husband, guitarist John Purifoy, they walk the line between hard rock and heavy metal, and definitely will appeal to fans of most genres. “Dislocate” is a little faster, a little heavier, and has a great chorus with some death-like growls thrown in that immediately had me sitting up. This segues nicely into “Just Like Me”, Allison singing with some attitude on this one. Drummer Caveman glides from mid-tempo to half-time making this one of the strongest cuts on the record, along with “Supertaint”. Uhhh…what? I don’t know, man. That’s what it says. Both Purifoy and second guitarist Blake Becton strut their stuff on this one, as does bassist Mitch Harris. Definitely a song to get amped up to!
Following a brief interlude, “Burn Out” showcases a more subdued side to Roses Unread on the verses before going balls-out on the choruses, making for a nice give and take. But my favorite track has gotta be “Déjà Vu”. The riff is just so friggin’ unique and out there, and Allison’s delivery is off the charts here. Plus, the growls make another appearance, thus cementing this as the best song. I honestly wasn’t thrilled with “Set You Free”, simply because it seems all-too familiar, and didn’t really leave an impression on me. Single and video “Blind Lead the Blind” though, has got it all: great tempo, a killer hook, and balls of steel. It amazes me that with material like this, these guys remain unsigned.
“Dark Passenger” is a pretty fast and heavy one, and is another winner right from jump. Closer “Without a Name” really ends things on a crushing note, once again channeling Sevendust to great results. So let’s review. There are ten full songs, and I really, really dug nine of them. That’s pretty damn good in my opinion. And not to keep harping on it, but someone REALLY needs to sign this little band out of Tennessee, pronto. Don’t take my word for it, get yourself a copy of Roses Unread’s new one, posthaste. You’ll see what I’m talkin’ about.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Dark Passenger”, “Déjà Vu”, “Blind Lead the Blind”, “Supertaint”, “Dislocate”