Rose Hill Drive

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Rose Hill Drive

Moon Is The New Earth

Megaforce Records
3.5 out of 5 Stars

Moon Is the New Earth is Rose Hill Drive’s sophomore effort on Megaforce and it has its fair share of hits, but also, unfortunately, it has a few misses. Recorded and co-produced by Rose Hill Drive and Scott Roche at Coupe Studios in Boulder, Colo., the album is, sonically, near-perfect.

The trio sounds enormously thick and the performances are spot-on. However, the songwriting is inconsistent and the raw drive of their live show seems too tamed on this album. There are still some good moments on Moon is the New Earth and you can definitely see the band is growing artistically, moving more towards spacey sounds and more cerebral arrangements, but there is still something missing here and most of that can be attributed to lackluster lyrics and lyrical melody.

Moon is the New Earth has more of a 1990s grunge feel to it than Rose Hill Drive’s debut album did. The comparisons this time around could be better drawn to Stone Temple Pilots and Alice in Chains, rather than Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. The band has decided to let lead singer/bassist Jacob Sproul take the reigns as vocal leader on all 12 songs this time around and the result is a very concise and to-the-point rock album, but some songs work and some simply don’t. Gone are any real drawn-out rockers. Everything here is pretty radio friendly at least time-wise, and solos are sadly kept to a minimum throughout.

The album opens with “Sneak Out,” a hard-rocking, bass rumbling track reminiscent of what you’d expect from Rose Hill Drive. Track three features the “Dancing Days”-reminiscent “Laughing in The Streets,” which is clearly the album’s best chance for a hit single.

The song “The 8th Wonder” is easily the best track on the entire record simply for the instrumental outro which starts right after the two- minute mark. A sledgehammer of bass, guitar and drums, this track is the reason people fell in love with Rose Hill Drive in the first place.

A knack for making a good album is not something that just happens magically in the studio. Some bands are known for their live shows and some are known for their creative albums. It is rare when a band is known for both equally. Rose Hill Drive has been a mainstay on the touring circuit for years and has built its fan base on constant touring and high-energy, explosive concerts. They have yet to translate that magic entirely into a studio album, but do come close on Moon is the New Earth.

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