The Jericho Tavern, Oxford
4th March 2009
Rosalita are an interesting proposition. Visually, there’s something of a shambolic swagger about them – and I’m not really sure about singer Kris’s white woollen overcoat, hat, grey jumper and the mockney voice he sings/talks/yelps in – but the music is far more tight. It has a punchy, melodic 80s bass-led and synth-augmented vibe, and there’s quite a bit of ska in there somewhere among the hooks.
Manga Girl is a nice slice of pop-punk punchiness – something The Faint might do if they lightened up a bit. What Would Your Mother Say (a cautionary tale of a youngster going off the rails) is also quite sparky and catchy, and Art Attack is – joyously – about Neil Buchanan’s Art Attack (“Not as good as Hart Beat… TV ain’t what it used to be”).
All more fun, I’m afraid, than Off the Radar.
On paper, they’ll probably sound great. But therein lies the problem – they come over as far less the sum of their parts. It’s a shame, because they’ve been together for ages and have obviously finely crafted their style and songwriting, but their particular blend of jangly rock n’ roll blues indie pub rock doesn’t work for me. The guitar parts are too frenetic and just meander around without really nailing anything, and the rest doesn’t get anywhere either.
There’s nothing really wrong with songs like Cut to the Chaser and The Man from Del Monte – they’re just not very memorable. On the plus side, the harmonies between guitarist Daz and bassist Tim sound rather charming.
The whole experience reminded me of watching a TV programme because it sounded great in the Radio Times, but then realising when it’s finished that you were quite happy to sit through it but weren’t engaged at all and can’t remember anything that happened. Like the second series of Heroes, really.
From Nightshift, April 2009