In May, London's Black Roses opened up for the mighty Trampolene at the Scala. This weekend, they return with their new single 'El Diablo', will this be the first step on the road to headlining such a prestigious venue?
To date, their singles have been a series of charismatic indie rock numbers, inspired by the heavier side of Arctic Monkeys. 'El Diablo' however, sees them in a new twisted groove. The wobbles on the guitar lend themselves to Pil, The Cure and The Horrors.
The haunting chorus of “Struggling /To be perfect /Those Nights / Are they worth it?” heightens this new found style. The need to be heard and loved colliding with futility of life is delivered, with an alluring aloofness by frontman Anthony Johnson. It raises more questions than it answers which, in an age of social media all but eroding rock musics mystique, is a welcome return.
Slow building songs need that moment of release or euphoria. Between Stevenson and fellow guitarist Richard Jones, they provide a solo to do just that. As they watched The Blinders at the Borderline recently, you wonder whether their light bulbs flickered. The Blinders and Cabbage's sense of depravity consumes this solo but, Black Roses have provided a mid paced clarity to it. Oddly, removing the Eoghan Clifford (Cabbage) and Thomas Haywood's penchant for violence lifts 'El Diablo' into an eerier realm. Like Alice from Luther, no matter how disturbing she gets, the appeal only grows.
As the groundswell of new bands grows in 2018, The Black Roses have gone from solid support act to big players with this new direction.