So I was having THE worst day on Tuesday. I won’t bore you with details, suffice to say I was in a really bad mood my whole drive to the Curtain Club in Deep Ellum and damn near turned the car around not once but twice. But I had to go and support ROSES UNREAD. Not just because I’ve gotten to know singer Allison and her husband/guitarist John; but because I believe in this band 100%. When I got their self-titled album last fall from Doug over at New Ocean Media I was struck immediately by how good the songwriting was and a little bit dismayed that they’re still unsigned. In a world full of disposable poppy garbage it is a fucking crime that a kickass rock/metal band like ROSES UNREAD is now three albums in and no label.
Anyway, I got to the club and was greeted immediately by Allison who just might be the sweetest girl in all the land and it was great to finally meet her in person. She was so friendly both to me and Ronnie, the photographer I was working with that night, and she immediately signed and got the rest of the band to sign CDs for Mini-Amps. Whitney who was running their merch table was a lot of fun to hang out with as well, and over the course of our laughing and bonding I also bought a t-shirt and wristband. This band hasn’t even played note one and my mood is already a thousand times better!
Now it was time for the show. Like I said, I was a fan, but after this performance it’s better to call me MEGA-fan. This band flat-out tore down the walls of the Curtain Club on a Tuesday night no less! Playing a set of all new material they hit us over the head with “My Way”, “Dislocate”, and “Just Like Me”. The songs appear in that same sequence to kick off the record and kudos to whoever put that tracklist/setlist together. Live though they were even more vicious. On CD the songs are heavy and well-produced, but in this setting the claws come out and you can totally see ROSES UNREAD as the sibling to SEVENDUST, such is their intensity live. Goddamn, I’d love to see these two bands share a stage; I might explode!
“Burn Out” was up next, followed by “Supertaint”, one of my favorites, John and guitarist Blake riffing it up and just owning the fretboards. Another killer cut, “Dark Passenger” was downright electric in its heaviness and power. Pausing to say a few words, John gave A&GS a shout-out from up there and thanked us for all the love, and I thought that was really classy of him. Now I wasn’t that big a fan of the studio version of “Set You Free”. Well, strike that from the record because live it was one of the best in the set, along with “Without a Name”, a song that wasn’t in my original copy of the album. John remedied that a short time later and boy, oh boy am I glad he did. This tune is the perfect example of excellent songwriting, and the guitar interplay is sensational. Not to mention Allison’s soaring vocals and Caveman’s harsh ones from behind the kit.
Bassist Brant and drummer Caveman were the concrete foundation on my ABSOLUTE favorite and set closer “Déjà Vu”, while Allison’s angry vocals mirrored the guitar lines and captured the full attention of everyone there. I was near the front of course, just rockin’ out and letting go of all my bullshit from earlier in the day. This is what a rock show is supposed to do, make you forget all your troubles for a few hours and immerse yourself in the music. To ROSES UNREAD I can safely say “Mission Accomplished”!! I was able to have a drink with the whole band after their set and just enjoy their company for a while before it was time to head home. I am so glad that I DID get to see ROSES UNREAD. Hell, they made a fan out of Ronnie, too. He’s been cranking the new album all week!
To Allison, John, Brant, Blake, Caveman, and Whitney…thank you all so much for giving me one of the best nights out I’ve had in a long time. I can’t wait till you come back to Dallas and kick some ass again!
LIVE SHOTS BY RONNIE JACKSON PHOTOGRAPHY