“That which does not kill us makes us stronger”
Someone said that once, and no matter how you feel about the source, it rings true with brawny, brainy, Brooklyn-based rock band, Typhoid Rosie. Singer/songwriter/former comedienne, Rosie Rebel, lived through it, and emerged with Hearts Bleed Goodbye, and we can all benefit from her rock and roll therapy.
The opening title track is emotional, like the kind of put-your-head-against-the-speaker-and-listen-until-you-get-something-in-your-eye emotional. It’s a plea, a cry in the darkness, and set against a muscular guitar part and sing-songy keys that give the track a winning, even uplifting, feel.
“Who’s gonna pray for me now, now that my angel’s gone away?”
A goodbye is a goodbye. It is closure, sure, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t pretty messy sometimes.
When “On the Day” starts, it hits you. There is strong streak of Blondie in the sound of Typhoid Rosie, and we are all better for it. It is elastic rock and roll, and it is a totally sweet love poem to someone who really helped Rosie through some rock-hard times.
The band kicks into a vaguely surf sound on “The World is Coming to an End.” Rivers are poison, dead birds are falling from the sky, but as much as we try and destroy things “the sun will shine again.” The song is insistent, catchy as all hell, and it is impossible not to move along with the band dancing to the apocalypse.
“Better to know now who you are…”
Indeed. Things slow down a bit on the keys-driven “Better to Know Now.” We all have scars, and they make us who we are to a large degree, but awareness is often the best we can do.
Typhoid Rosie waltzes through the short “Won’t Last Forever,” mulling over the decisions we make while chasing the arrow of time. My own mother has a habit of adding the phrase “because you never know” to a lot of discussions. You should not put things off “because you never know.” I’ve been hearing that since I was eight years old. Is it a little morbid? Melancholy? Yes, and yes, but the sentiment works for this track.
“Baby I Want You” is dead sexy. It might not be as simple as the title suggests, but it has gorgeous background singing, and a slinky guitar solo. It scratches all the right itches.
“Satan, you can never have me, because I’m gonna smile, mommy. It’s the one thing that she taught me. She said, ‘Your soul is everything. Once gone, you have nothing.’ It’s all over. I was buried in a potter’s field, before I went ahead and made a deal. I won’t sell my soul.”
[Disclaimer: I don’t have a lyric sheet.]
Wrapped in chunky guitars comes the defiant “It’s All Over.” It is an effective statement of purpose… Indie all down the line.
Song-length PSA “Walk of Shame” should probably be played for daughters everywhere, when they are old enough to get the sentiment. Don’t fall for the traps, girls. Men suck. As a father to young daughters (and a son), I appreciate this song a lot. You know what? This song is as much for our sons as it is for our daughters. Preach on, sister Rosie.
Photo courtesy of Lara Callahan and Rosie Rebel
I just love track nine, “Run Along.” My favorite? Maybe. It is a minute fifty five seconds of full sprint. It’s not messing around. It’s lean and mean. It has a nice twist from being told by a father figure to “run along, run along, yeah. Shut your mouth, shut your mouth, yeah” to telling the same father figure to do the same.
Typhoid Rosie locks the brakes up trying to slow down into the 1950s inspired “Oopsie Daisey.” It’s almost funny, given that my interpretation of “slow down, slow down, oopsie daisey” is “slow it down, that’s it, oops, you just slowed it down so much you died.”
Hilarious, right? No, not really, but it is when you toss in that expression. It’s not just me, is it?
“’Til We Meet Again,” lyrically, is a perfect closer. It is feels complete, resolved, but it definitely has an ellipsis at the end. The chorus is sweeping and big enough to crawl inside.
The best rock and roll should do that to you: make you want to live inside it for a while. You may not have heard of Typhoid Rosie [yet], but this is a band that will set up the couch in the living room for you. You can stay as long as you like; just chip in for groceries every now and again.
Lead-In Artwork courtesy of Hara Katsiki @InkLovesPaper