It took The View Electrical two years to write and record Roseland. The band featurers members from Cortez, Kruger, No Sun In San Francisco and Sonograph. This can explain the mature and intimate sound of the twelve songs on this record. Most of them are beautiful rock ballads, sounding warm and comfortable but still with an intense sense of sadness.
So yes, this is pretty modest rock music. If I close my eyes, I imagine a tent with a stage and several hunderd people sitting or laying on the grassy soil, letting the music overtake them. A quiet haven on a noisy festival. An instant favourite for everyone who broke up with their lover at that same festival. But, beware, because as pretty and lovely as The View Electrical might sound, this kitty can scratch and bite.
From the beginning of the first song, 'Haunted By A Dream', I heard something between Tiamat and Slowdive. Dark shoegaze with a distinct, subdued voice. This is one of those songs that maintain their strength, both in a minimal acoustic setting as when played by a full-blown band. 'At All Costs' however, suddenly borrows from trip-hop acts like Massive Attack or Tricky, floating on electronic percussion and dreamy guitars. 'It Was Time' proves their songwriting capabilities, becoming my favourite real ballad on this CD.
But I said this kitty bites and scratches, remember? Well, title track 'Roseland' and closer 'We Won't Stay' suddenly overthrow everything you expect from a band like this. Completely unexpected, the music bursts into a post-hardcore climax, not as extreme as with the bands in that genre, but still. This really is a surprise. 'Protect Us' pulls us into darkness again, with a creepy intro, electronic drones and a frightening choir. In this song, The View Electrical suddenly becomes a darkwave band. So, I'm going with this one if I have to choose a favourite track.
I have to be honest, at first I hadn't really expected much from this album. Usually, this subgenre I like to name 'sad rock' becomes one-sided and often boring. The View Electrical have managed to surprise me with this excellent, varied and atmospheric album. All the different influences turn this music into an extended journey through numerous emotions, genres and movements. As often, I can only hope that these guys take this album on the road because I really want to see how they pull this off on stage.