Rockets on Wire, a dark indie-rock band from New York, are making waves with their new debut album I Am Not Your Home. They even managed to win over some new fans when they made their new album available for a name-your-price download via their Bandcamp page for a week.
The whole album is bound together by the distinctive vocals of singer Marie Mayes, which allows the whole record to flow together as a solid whole while each song fluctuates with fluidity from the faster bouncing songs to the slower haunting tracks. The vocals, being probably the standout feature of the record, can be seen as a cross between singer-songwriters Christina Perri and Imogen Heap, but with moments of more gruff aggression and energy.
The song opens with the atmospheric rise and fall of the short first track, “Wake”. Listeners are lured in by the slow purposeful accompaniment of guitar and vocals, bringing in a consistent drum beat and backing vocals to increase the intensity before fading out into a platform for second song on the album “Fall” to jump off. Unlike the opening track, “Fall” swings along with a fast-paced, foot-tapping beat, but the main feature of the song is still the raspy vocals of Marie Mayes.
It is now that we really start to see what Marie can do and make people feel with her voice, unleashing the emotionally charged “Rose”. Although this track also features a strong drum beat and uptempo guitars, Marie steals the limelight with her gritty vocals as she rasps: “And I keep praying to god that I’ll break my fucking limbs.”
These powerful driving guitars are prominent in several songs throughout the album and especially in the fifth track, which clocks in at just over one minute long. Despite how short it is, “Repast” really packs a punch and as most punk fans will know, good things really can come in small packages – cliché and all. The lyrical content stays unwaveringly harrowing and its delivery through the medium of Marie’s vocals doesn’t lose any of its torturous nature as she crows about a failed romance: “Even Jesus Christ couldn’t save you now; you will sink like a rock.”
For a debut album, Rockets on Wire have definitely pulled one out of the hat with I Am Not Your Home. The whole record comes in the form of an indie/punk crossbreed which musically conveys the devastating emotional content of the lyrics with drums crashing like waves on the rocks and guitars swirling like a maelstrom. Pride of position rightly goes to the haunting vocals, but the band does not stand or fall with Marie’s voice; there is more to their sound than that.
Rockets on Wire have sent out all the right signals with their first record which has rightly caught people’s attention; it will be interesting to see how they cope with the tricky second album.
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3.5/5 high fives!