ABSINTHE ROSE / HUMANWINE: Split: CD

Interesting release from Rodent Popsicle that I was personally surprised that they co-released. From first impressions, I thought this was going to be a punk release. I was definitely wrong. Absinthe Rose: Female-led band armed with a banjo or switching to an acoustic guitar writes a charging blend of what I would call rawhide country punk. Backed by a strong and powerful rhythm section, the bass and drums are what catch my attention. The guitar and other string instruments add the texture and nuances that add the color to the music. After a few listens, I definitely found the music enjoyable. Humanwire: This band comes from a different direction. The female vocals are more ethereal. I feel more of a Middle Eastern vibe in delivery on one of the songs. But she uses different techniques to give each song its own identity. The music complements it with the use of string instruments like the cello, violin, and bass fiddle. It gives the music a haunting tone that gives me a mental image of swamps at night then moving to a scene from a cabaret act. Both bands truly surprised me. I was moved and captivated. Co-released with Screech Owl Records and Nervous Relatives Records.

 –don (Rodent Popsicle)