There are two things you can be sure of, when it comes to RSR’s debut: one is Af Music (the guardian of many European underground music bands), and the other is their British origins, in London, the best lab for dark rock music. and for them the only way is forward…
This is because of personal qualities, as well as for professional ones: these four British men are able to create a sound that is ‘genetically eighties’, tainting it with modern colours, mostly thanks to the presence of the violin, played by Christina Emery.
There is also something else: the one who started this project is also the lead singer, he plays the guitar, and he is the main song writer, Rob Leydon, already a member of VoM, part of a good legacy of English gothic rock.
It is very carefully produced, the mixing is by Steve Carey (already in the NFD, but not only that…), RFTD is an example of a tangible sonority that it is still possible to create, a loving eye towards enchanting past times, while the other eye is looking towards the future of a genre that, if expressed with skill, can still be considered avant garde, a future to be constructed.
The other elements of the ensemble are the excellent bass played by Panos Theodoropulos, and the second guitar played by Matt Helm, a voice of a different kind, that glides in like a snake and brings in the temptation of sound. in some tracks the sound will seem so natural, that you will not realise there is a double plectrum, the power of the band’s fusion.
First the piano, then the whole band, solid, around it; even the guitar, in the opener My Child, stays quiet, autumn-like, growing slowly into neuroses that are specifically created to welcome Rob Leydon’s voice, so similar to the masculine voice of Carl McCoy, sometimes desperate, at other times reactive, powerful, engaged in strong feelings to be sung with vigour, with an almost lyrical passion shaped by the violin: if you take away the initial neoclassicism, Wide Awake will also take you into these dark wave lands, with the British school of the Chameleons and Born for Bliss.
Or sometimes, totally serving pure rock gothic, like in Lost for Words, where not only does the voice remind of McCoy’s, but the whole sound is somehow Nephilim, and yet it still maintains the quality of a caress, while always with the wave baggage on their backs; these are loving caresses of a six string, still awesome in entering with the right pickings, even if they appear without a pattern, almost irrational, like human feelings.
The ending is almost erotic. Nothing to Hide is like leaves that fall between the soft caresses of the violin, and the melancholy of the plectrum, anguish in the singing, tears and regrets, the right epilogue to a tale of cursed rock…
[Our own translation, for the original article click here]