We don’t get much instrumental rock in our inboxes here at Hit The Floor, so when Rhoda May made an appearance in our unread folder it was a welcome treat. The trio will be kicking off the new year in brilliant fashion with the release of their recent sessions with Jason Wilson on the 6th January.
Separated into two sessions – 347 and 589 – each was recorded in entirety and proves to us that Rhoda May actually thrive better in this live, non-stop sort of setting. Opening track ‘3’ straight away illustrates the band’s quality, both in performance and execution. The crisp recording is contended with the Surrey group’s slightly rougher sound, which is highlighted especially in standout track ‘5’, in which clashing yet harmonic strings catch our attention straight away.
With no vocals to lead the way, melodic guitar lines from Will Pain take centre stage. His string work fills the spot that no singer could, taking us on a captivating aural journey, which bizarrely feels almost story like when listened to in order. While vocals and lyrics can sometimes be the selling point of bands, Rhoda May have found the absence of it to be freeing as they have written six tracks – each unique in its own right – that could not be emulated or improved otherwise.
Rhoda May truly is a breath of fresh air. Not only are the three members fantastic musicians, but they have found each of their strengths and play to it, as this release proves. If this is what the band can do live on record, then we can only imagine how spectacular they’d be in the flesh. With a fresh, unique style and enviable togetherness, 2014 is going to be Rhoda May’s year.
Reviewer: Freya Cochrane