The word ‘Tennessee’ reminds whisky to most people, the home of Jack Daniels. But to people like me it means a lot more if there is a ‘Nashville’ before that Tennessee. The city has been an inspiration for many musicians or anyone who is a little bit interested in music. It is the home to the marvellous Gibson Guitars and it’s many luthiers that build the custom Gibsons along with many other top-notch instruments. Fools for Rowan is a band I came across when I was wandering on MySpace. For reasons I’ve explained earlier, when you see ‘Nashville TN’ on the location your expectations are a bit higher than any other band. Fools for Rowan consists of Erin Mullins, Rachel Brandsness, Aaron Elliot, Ryan Nanney and Jordan Cullen. They are probably friends from high school or something but of course that’s none of my concern. Although I don’t like 5-piece bands very much, it is good to see a girl (Rachel) playing the lead guitar. These kids didn’t betray their hometown, both Rachel and Ryan plays Gibsons both on and off the stage. Erin stands out to be the only member of the group who doesn’t play an instrument.
Their first album called ‘Twisted. Tied Up. Tangled.’ was released in 2009 and has two singles so far. Fools for Rowan’s style reminds me of Evanescence, some how hard rock with a hint of punk and gothic looks. The album opens with ‘Burnt Around the Edges’, a proper rock song with catchy guitar riffs accompanied by some (probably double tracked) excellent vocals by Erin. The album’s hit song (IMHO) is ‘Dead’, the fourth track which also has an excellent video (can be seen here) but my favourite is the live version of the song that you can watch below. I must say this is one of the best live performance videos I’ve seen on YouTube so far.
I find it much better than the album version. I thought this was a song written by someone else but when you watch the video you clearly understand that it is written by Erin. It is also quite hard to understand why the producer added strings to this song. I am no producer or anything close but it definitely sounds much better without those strings. Besides you don’t hear any other strings during the album apart from this song. The rest of the album goes with a slightly slower pace and there isn’t any song that attracts attention. Track 10 ‘Living Dangerously’ reminds me of ‘Still Waiting’ by Sum41 a little bit. Actually it reminds me “a lot” of ‘Still Waiting’.
To sum it up, ‘Twisted. Tied Up. Tangled.’ is not the best album of the world but not bad either, it is exactly what you expect from a new band. My opinion is that they’re ready to go national. After all they’re living in a country where the Jonas Brothers are famous. If they play their cards right, and a little bit of luck they can be the next Evanescence. Members of Fools for Rowan seem to have enough musician skills and looks to attract rebellious teenagers but they still have to concentrate a little bit more on song writing.