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Some Days '98
Image © 1998 The Rosemary Pure

See Your Star
Image © 1999 The Rosemary Pure

(20 August 2000) The debut album from The Rosemary Pure, entitled Some Days '98 (The Rosemary Pure (USA) trp1098, 1998), is comprised of thirteen "post-alternative" rocking tracks laced with vocals from the band's two female singer / guitar players Kiki Parry (lead vocals) and Joanna Coopersmith (lead guitar). Andrew Hendry (guitars) is also credited on the band's recordings. Based in central New Jersey not far out of the reach of Philadelphia, the band is rounded out by rhythm section Neil Odell (bass) and Chip Morrow (drums and percussion). In addition to the band's debut alubm, a six track EP entitled See Your Star (The Rosemary Pure (USA) trp8.99, 1999) is also being distributed at the band's live performances and sold via their website.

The band's debut album has quite a few (short) upbeat and "melodic, driving, kinetic indie pop/rock" tunes. While they are not self-labeled as a new wave band, we were reminded of groups operating in that genre on more than one occasion while studying the album. Sweet two-part vocal harmonies dominate, yet they are complimented by lovely guitar work and crisp percussion. The Rosemary Pure are first and foremost a rock band—dynamic and well-played instrumental bridges balance the otherwise the band's vocally-laden sound. With all of the band's energy, a live show must be quite an experience. The vocals are awesome.

Several of the songs on the debut album can be easily distinguished from the others. The vocal work in the folk rock tune "I Can See Her Now" has an especially well-blended texture and despite the lushness of the instrumental arrangements, the harmonies work especially well with vocals mixed way up, the way we like them most. A similar sound emerges in "Tired," and like "I Can See Her Now" we were reminded of The Cranberries' sound. The significant contrasts within "Under Waves" were not only well played but they were most remniscent of the progressive sound of UK-based band Fula (review) especially by Kiki Parry's lead vocal. Some Days '98 is a great album and must be listened to a few times to really appreciate all of the intricacies within its tracks.

The band's latest project, an EP (pressed on CD-R) entitled See Your Star, has six tracks with the last track being an acoustic version of the first one. The band have obviously moved on, becoming instrumentally tighter with harmonious vocal work sounding even more like The Cranberries. "Mermaid" is an upbeat, new wave-tempoed song, with glorious two-part harmonies. The acoustic version is lighter, and accompanied only by acoustic guitar and light percussion, unprocessed lead and harmony vocals naturally dominate. Songs are more intricate with tempo and mood changes within them trending the band into a song-based progressive rock direction at times. "Surrounded" joins "See Your Star" and "Every Hour" in overall tempo while being vocally subdued in comparison favouring the instrumental arrangements in prowess. "Higher" is a slower track more characterised by soaring vocal harmonies and Fula-like progressive textures.

You can read further reviews and order The Rosemary Pure's CD Some Days '98 from amazon.com here. While further information is available at the band's official website, you can visit their mp3.com website for free downloads and further information. The Rosemary Pure's sound is certain to appeal to alternative rock enthusiasts. Vocally rich, rocking sounds make the sound enjoyable and the more accessible tracks and the ballads are very attractively produced. The debut album's artwork compliments the compact disc while the lack of liner notes and a lyrics sheet is disappointing. Says lead vocalist Kiki Parry, "I work at Discmakers and my job is to design CD packaging for bands. I really enjoyed designing my band's own CD, it was fun." Despite being done in a home-based environment, the recording quality is very good and overall production quality of the album is exceptional. Certain to appeal to our alternative rock readers, both the album and followup EP are a very nice listen!

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