It’s of course amazingly easy for any wannabe music reviewer to throw a few verbal grenades while sheltering safely behind a laptop. However, one broad criticism I have of many new and emerging bands is that in their anxiety not to “mess it up”, their first few tracks do just that by playing it too safe. One band that have definitely taken a risk that has paid off in style is Wokingham’s roves with their wonderfully ambitious, spacious and sweeping five minutes long debut released track Always.
From the first note, roves show a winning confidence on Always with a gentle guitar and beautifully sensitive vocals, which initially reminds me something of Morrissey (but thankfully without any hint of the self pity wallow). With the addition of the strong drums and percussion from Matt Jamison and the full force of the roves band soon kicking into the song (Ethan Morgan (Vocals/Guitar), Connor Coutts (Guitar) and Ellis Morgan (Bass/Vocals)), Always soon builds up to be a real dramatic and strong tune. This is a song about a fading love and a wondering about how good things were and how it could all go horribly wrong: “We were always meant to be, so take me back to where we’re meant to be” is the anguished message.
A band I adored until their split a couple of years ago, was Dry the River and roves have that similar deep, intelligent, atmospheric all encompassing melodic feel to their music. Fans of Band of Horses and Fleet Foxes will also find a comfortable place to nestle with roves.
roves were formed by Ethan and Connor; friends from an early age. Ethan’s brother plays bass and Matt joined the line up on drums. If their Facebook profiles are up to date, Ethan and Connor are currently at University and the band are somewhat dotted across the country for much of the year, making roves continued progress and momentum clearly something of a labour of love.
roves explain the band name came whilst driving one day, it’s meaning resonating with the band’s music style, ‘a journey without a destination’. That openness and willingness to explore music boundaries comes across in Always, and is as good a manifesto for life as any I’ve heard.
Future shows for roves include support for The Tin Pigeons at The Monarch, Camden on 18th April and a homecoming show at the Rising Sun Arts Centre on 29th June. I certainly hope roves venture up North for a gig or two before too long.
To catch a feel for just how good this band is, they have a handy you tube video and of course you can show those rove guys some much deserved love by checking out their wonderful first tune on spotify