There’s actually a lot of greatness to be found in this release by Rose Windows. However, even a cursory listen reveals that the band’s biggest influences of 60s and 70s prog rock and Sabbathesque blues metal ham-handedly smother what can often be an enjoyable psychedelic listen. In some ways, the album almost depicts a humourous caricature of this period of music, with an often over-serious aimlessness that might have intended to be casual or exploratory. Lyrically, the album is overwrought and desperately struggles to say something epic and important. In the end, it doesn’t.
While Rose Windows wear their influences on their sleeves in often negative ways, some of the longer tracks bear a Floydian vibe that is genuinely compelling. In these moments, the band does succeed at seeming purposeful and exploratory. On occasions, the influence seem like an exercise the band struggles to complete. When the band plays “Native Dreams” and “This Shroud,” we see a band that uses those influences as strengths rather than crutches. Drawing from aspects of psych, folk, blues rock, prog and metal, this band could actually be appealing for a lot of people. If you love the folk fest atmosphere but have wished it was harder rocking, this may be an album for you. (Sub Pop, subpop.com) Devin King