The five songs on The Chopping Block exhibit excellent continuity. This 80s-influenced post punk EP by Rosegarden Funeral Party is highly listenable. I love Leah Lane’s unique vocals! She digs deep when she sings. She has lots of power, but she’s also capable of pulling back and creating delicately intimate moments.
This EP tends to rock straight ahead. Big guitars and drums lay a foundational high dive for Lane’s dynamic voice. Songs like “Blitzkrieg in Holland” exhibit her Danzig-esque abilities as well as strong songwriting. The listener glimpses a softer side on “Ill and Getting Worse” while rockabilly and pop influences emerge. “Horror Music” and its super reverby guitars feels like the 80s. The spoken word section lends a spacy, theatrical flavor that makes the record as a whole seem a little epic. This music has merit and staying power.
On “The Chopping Block”, hooks abound. Some of the best musical performances on the record punctuate the chill moments. The bass on “Seeing You Here and Now” has a thumpy, vintage tone. Here the bass perfectly counterbalances Lane’s soulful, breathy lyric. Choices of tone and arrangement tie this EP to tradition, but Rosegarden Funeral Party breaks good, solid ground here.
The Chopping Block is well worth a listen, and solidifies Rosegarden Funeral Party’s firm place on the current Dallas scene. I have not had the pleasure of seeing this band live, but will make a special effort to do so. EPs like this are all too rare—this one will stay in my rotation for a while. Thanks, RFP.