Opening with gentle guitar picking and breathy vocals, Hey Rosetta!’s ‘Into Your Lungs’ gradually builds, picking up all manner of instruments along the way and regularly bursting into uplifting chorus. One can’t help but be buouyed by the mood of these Canadian rockers, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard such an eclectic mix of songs sound so ‘together’ as these do.

I could mention the names of bands I thought “Hey, this song sounds like…”. If I did, my review wouldn’t fit on one screen – but it’s no bad thing. ‘Into Your Lungs’ doesn’t so much ‘draw from’ as  rediscover sounds and arrangements from bands across all musical styles. The songs are strong enough in their own right to overshadow all but the greatest comparisons that could be drawn, and the band have a style that is all their own. Particular highlights include the bass-driven, punky ending to ‘There’s an Arc’ and the swelling, almost orchestral chorus of ‘Handshake the Gangster’. It’s not all head-banging foot-tapping stuff though – there are a number of soft and delicate tunes with plenty of tender emotion.

One big thing Hey Rosetta! have over other bands is that their string players are a  permanent part of the band, and it makes the difference that their lines are  integral to the soul of the music – not some producer’s aftertouch to appeal to a mainstream audience. Conversely, this album is not likely to reach that audience because of the uncompromising attitude of the music. However, the potential is there for this album to be their ticket to a trip on Rock-and-Roll’s rollercoaster of fame, because when a major gets hold of Hey Rosetta!, then what they will produce is going to be big.

Don’t buy this album because they are the ‘next big thing’ – buy it because it will make you sit up, bop your head, and (if you’re lucky enough to be a ‘modern man’, i.e. a softie like me) well up. It will remind you that you can fall in love with a band, just like you did when you were young. It gives me hope that music truly IS rubbish nowadays, and that one band can lead us out of musical mediocrity to a bright new… well, maybe not, but it’s as good a new album as I have heard in a long, long time.

Re-release Date 03/06/2008

Chris Oliver

I've been playing bass guitar and guitar for over half my life. I last played bass in in a band called Electromotive and as a singer-songwriter I have written songs about cheese and vajazzles (separate songs!). I started out listening to 60s, 70s and 80s rock as a kid and I was in to grunge and U.S. punk and ska in the 90s. Since then, I've broadened my tastes and I like the best of all styles of music, even country. I've been writing for Silent Radio since it started.