Rosina and the Weavers: Hitching the Starlight Highway (digital outlets)

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Walking Song
Rosina and the Weavers: Hitching the Starlight Highway (digital outlets)

Out of Pukekohe, this five-piece might nominally be a rock band but with Rosina's flexible and often soulful vocals they have considerable reach and range beyond the genre, showcased on the slow opening title track.

It's a decent enough song, but as an opening statement for a debut album it lacks lapel-grabbing attention on a collection which has more immediately compelling material later, like And the Rain Starts to Fall which has an engrossing spoken word delivery to hook the listener in.

Walking Song which follows that title track is an equally slow mood piece before it picks up momentum halfway through, only to pull back again before a final and impressive sonic surge.

These are the kind of art rock songs better placed later on an album after making a powerful statement, but that seems their forte because the fanciful Bowie in a Bathtub – which achieves some real rock'n'roll grit after the midpoint – is also a slow builder, as is More Like My Mother which is close to a country weeper with pedal steel.

While this pattern creates a sense of building tension and certainly showcases Rosina's vocal dexterity, it makes for a collection too often reliant on anticipation and delayed expectation.

For Marilyn is appealing chipping power-pop about Monroe (“Why'd you go so soon? Your hourglass half-empty, they sapped you, they drained you”), Karuwhā is high drama and Used to Be at the end is a piano ballad.

At bandcamp they say they are going somewhere, and that's doubtless true because they have the ammunition.

But as a first salvo this is uneven and sometimes, by lacking immediacy and impact, misses the target.

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You can hear and buy this album at bandcamp here


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