Catalog #: AHE-06
Format: 7" Vinyl/Digital
Release date: 2010
B. I Can’t Pretend To Understand
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AHE-06 ROPE – Montagne b/w I Can’t Pretend to Understand – 7”: $5
Montagne is the recording debut of the Brooklyn band Rope. Originally a one man band studio project by Josh Clark, Rope has recently coalesced into a fully operational machine. Playing no-holds-barred rock, somewhere between the slow-burn chug of Crazy Horse and the power pop metal of Thin Lizzy. Rope favors all things guitar. With guitarists John Stendrini (Federale) and Zach Cale (Illuminations) flanking Josh, a natural chorus effect materializes between the guitars that supplies the band with a sonic palette for constructing mammoth sounding riffs.
On side A we have “Montagne,” a thunder ode to the most intimidating of nature’s creations. With guitars that scream like supernovas shot out of a cannon over a driving bass-line “Montagne” gets things moving quickly. Almost kraut rock like in structure, the song never strays from the hard hitting rhythm established in the first bar, simulating a locked groove that creates a broad plain for Josh’s voice to stretch out over. Josh sings “I stared at this mountain for a year now, it’s all I can take!”. By the time of the last chorus the guitars, breaking up from tube volume, sputter and crash to the floor in what seems a fitting close, but seconds after the fade the guitars creep back into the mix climbing up into an angular blues stomp.
On the flip is “I Can’t Pretend to Understand,” a four-chord barnstormer, both haggard and heartworn, as Josh sings “It was winter in the arctic ten years too long, you couldn’t figure it out. You can’t cry the sun in the sky.” Clark has a great ear for melody and his lyrics ring out clearly, never hiding beneath the layers of guitar. It’s a memorable song with its call and response vocal phrasing and melodic guitar breaks between verses, and a nice contrast to “Montagne’s” full speed ahead approach. With these two rockers in the can, we can’t wait to see what this band does with a full length record!
-7″ vinyl comes with download card.
“NYC rock in name and deed, driving and electrified, bright and just a little dirty, with a sound that could have come from any point from the opening of CBGB onward. “Montagne” rides a persistent, upbeat drum lockdown across the nighttime party horizon, chilly and racing past with cleanly sung vocals, electric violin scratch and solid guitar riffage (courtesy of Zachary Cale and Federale’s John Stendrini). It fades out, only to come back in an extended instrumental coda that lays into that groove for just a little while longer. They’ve nailed that late ‘70s/early ‘80s studio vibe down cold, right through to the all-analog recording and mastering; if nothing else, it will remind you of the same sort of manufactured excitement you’d feel from hearing, say, “The Driver’s Seat” by Sniff ‘n’ the Tears, which, if you’re me, is not a bad thing to aspire to. “I Can’t Pretend to Understand” makes out with the girl you had an eye on right in front of you, slightly gloomy but earnest power-pop with the violin adding a level of sound you wouldn’t often consider in modern rock. For what this is, I love it. It’s cool when bands acknowledge what they are up front, but aspire to more than three chords and getting blackout drunk, and can effectively pull it off. I look forward to watching these guys play some time.”
-Doug Mosurock (Still Single)
“Rope roll out the shag carpet right from the get-go on “Montagne”—the showmanship in their riffs prove a genuine love for twin guitars, Urge Overkill and a bohemian saloon swagger, usually unheard post-2002.”
-Kevin J. Elliott (Agit Reader)