In today’s market, it’s often difficult to find something original. So many artists claim the same label and attempt to dub themselves as an original, while in reality the innovation may be wasted on the average listener who is bombarded daily by songs and sounds that eventually become a dirty puddle reflecting the same basic idea.
When formulating The Sun Dogs, Rose Windows sought to create something its own without being forced into the radical areas of musical experimentation. The band has been called “folk-infused psychedelia” by some, while others claim it’s closer to a “Classic Americana” sound. Perhaps this inability of the public to label Rose Windows is a sign that what it has produced really is its own.
It cannot be doubted that Rose Windows has a distinctly Americana vibe, hearkening to a gritty Southwestern color across the whole of Sun Dogs. “Spirit Modules” culminates the group’s aesthetic with an airy power ballad enhanced by the enchanting vibrato of a Native American flute. Then comes a dramatic acceleration with “Native Dreams,” gives these folksy musicians a hard edge.
Vivid language filled with references to warriors, battles, and strength opulently evokes images of red sand dunes, and jagged craters in the blazing sun.
To those who may be wary of the old-school powerhouse guitar rampage style, don’t worry. “Season of Serpents” is a cozy cool down from the rest of the record. The tranquility of the plucking of six-strings coupled with a mystic tale of love demonstrates the band’s versatility, and reflects just how closely it really follows its inspirations in classic country rock—but the song still carries the unique imprint of Rose Windows.
“Wartime Lovers” is refreshing love song in a sea of modern music that attempts to dissect that infamous vexation we call love. Faded vocals that are just shy of ethereal drive home the message that love is not easily won, and the battle for it is rough.
There are drawbacks to the overall work, however. The down-to-earth feeling that Rose Windows achieves becomes repetitive, and is only set off by the few tracks that could only be described as harsh. Each track is wonderful, but often only by itself. The album becomes difficult to appreciate when each song simultaneously sticks out and blends in.
All in all, Rose Windows has created a successful work of art. Any summer playlist should include at least one track from this monument to just plain good folk. It blazes with glory at times, and at others descends into the chilled simplicity of a cascading waterfall. It’s unique and nostalgic; a difficult thing to achieve.
Rose Windows – The Sun Dogs tracklist:
- “Spirit Modules”
- “Native Dreams”
- “Heavenly Dreams”
- “Walkin’ With a Woman”
- “Season of Serpents”
- “Wartime Lovers”
- “Indian Summer”
- “This Shroud”