CD Reviews

Fools For Rowan - 'Twisted. Tied Up. Tangled.' / 'Who Killed Amanda Day?' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 11, 2013    
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What a wonderful discovery!

I may be “the old guy” on the Fireworks team, but I like to think I retain a keen ear for great new music with appeal to the readership of the magazine. Mind you, I am not as “out there” as many of the other writers, so it comes as a shock that nobody else (apart from Dave Scott: see his interview elsewhere this issue) seems to have picked up on the absolutely marvellous Fools For Rowan (FFR) before me, and started shouting about how good they are!

Although based in Nashville, the members of the band (Erin Mullins (vox), Rachel Brandsness (lead guitar), Ryan Nanney (rhythm guitar), Andrew ‘Gibby’ Williams (bass) and Jordan Cullen (drums)) come from diverse locations and thus you can forget immediately about all those typical motifs associated with their new home as FFR are very firmly focused within the same sub-genre as Paramore, Evanescence and Halestorm, and from where I am listening, if these initial releases are a reliable indication, they have the potential to eclipse all these bands if they get the right breaks.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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‘Twisted…’ has been out for a couple of years now, and if I’ve done my research correctly was recorded very much as an Erin Mullins solo album immediately following which the band coalesced around her. Certainly none of the rest of the band on the 2012 ‘Who Killed…’ EP (also covered here for completeness) are listed on the album, and whereas this includes some string arrangements, the more recent offering is very much a full-on band affair. Both records, irrespective of the approach, are really quite superb and Mullins’ voice exudes a warmth, dexterity and power that is really remarkable and at times exudes just the tiniest hint of Stevie Nicks. She has also co-written all of the songs across the two releases: and every single one is out of the top drawer. The quality performances, brilliant production (five of the tracks on the EP having been mixed and mastered by a certain Mr Beau Hill) and fantastic overall sound has really brought out the best from these whether they comprise high octane, up-tempo numbers (‘Burnt Around The Edges’, ‘Tangled’, ‘Living Dangerously’ and ‘Refuge’), rock ballads (‘Dead’, ‘No’ (and this one is especially gorgeous!), ‘Isn’t It Enough’, ‘Crave’ and ‘Leave’(also absolutely wonderful!)) or mid-tempo or more varied stylistically (don’t be put off by the dubstep effects on ‘Chameleon’!)

I tell you, this really is intoxicating stuff, and while it may not appeal to those of you who are not (yet) tuned into modern melodic rock stylings, for the rest of you who have already embraced some/all of the other bands mentioned above, you WILL find these two releases amongst the best purchases you will make this year. Go check the band out on You Tube and then go to to make your purchase!
What a wonderful discovery!

Paul Jerome Smith

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