The new Rose Hill Drive album, Moon Is The New Earth, exhibits as much style and finesse as the same trio that composed, played and produced it.
This Colorado trio is an eminently musical unit. Hear "Always Waiting," with its layered guitars, harmony singing and abandoned drumming or catch the hint of acoustic guitars that prettify the pop-slanted chord progression on "Laughing in the Street," where Jake Sproul effectively uses his reedy vice in a falsetto.
Guitarist Daniel Sproul refuses to show off his chops, often content to ride the top of power chording ("A Better Way") or, as on ""I’m On to You," leading the charge of the band, only to proffer a pithy solo that comes and goes in the time it takes the check the song title on the CD cover. As on "Godfather," the man can shred, but he does so sparingly, in a textbook demonstration of restraint.
Amassing a formidable movement of grassroots support upon the release of their debut, Rose Hill Drive continues to work independently with their sophomore album. They recorded produced and mixed Moon Is The New Earth in their hometown of Boulder, giving its sound a polished presence free of frills for their own sake. But then, the ferocious grind of a cut like “The 8th Wonder" doesn’t require effects: the visceral impact of this music derives from the three musicians, not their equipment or the tools of the studio, and there’s no substitute for that kind of drive.
Unless you already subscribe to the thought there’s an inherent significance to loud guitars, bass and massive drums, these dozen tracks may not quite add up to anything profound, but it’s more than enough to make anybody else think twice—then agree wholeheartedly to that point of view.