Die Like Roses – Scarlett (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

The classic rock sound and the gothic world have always made for comfortable bed fellows. Denizens of the former scene have more than a passing interest in the shadowed themes and dark romances that form the latter’s hallowed ground. When you look back at the history of the gothic musical thread you find that most of the bands who forged an enduring career did so by incorporating mainstream rock into their sound. Scarlett is the strange and troubled child of both those generic parents. And that is the perfect place to find yourself in the modern age. With the current (dark)wave of modern media – brooding TV fantasy adaptations, the resurgence of the vampire horror movie and a cultural embrace of the underground, not to mention the underworld – Scarlett are perfectly placed to be part of the soundtrack to this burgeoning trend.

If, back in the day, the likes of Bauhaus and the Sisters of Mercy made angular music for awkward people, Scarlett make music for the more well-rounded people that those strange kids grew into…and their awkward and angular offspring too!  Okay, it is rock more than anything, classic rock at that, depending on how you measure such things, but there is nothing wrong with following such a route. Rock is a genre which has proven both familiar enough to appeal to the mainstream yet broad enough to allow bands to find their unique position within it, and again, Scarlett cleverly burn this sonic candle at both ends.

Slick enough to appeal to the denim clad rockers and emotive enough to capture the imagination of the black clad legion too, Die Like Roses is a great song, cultish yet commercial, underground but accessible, familiar yet sounding fresh to the ears of those tired of the wave of mumbling rappers and throwaway, saccharine pop stars that have become the norm.

To old goths like myself it certainly ticks many boxes. Rock fans young and old will love its groovesome riffs and sense of epic drama. And those who revel in escapism, no matter which musical genres you pin to your musical mast, will find that such music is just another brick in that wall between the real world and the imagination. A fantastic song and definitely a band to watch.

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