Rosegarden Funeral Party - From The Ashes

Rosegarden Funeral Party
From The Ashes
Young And Cold Records

The book on Dallas’ Rosegarden Funeral Party has been out for a while, or at least since 2019’s Martyr put it up on the marquee in blood red Adler letters: classic goth with anthemic 80s hooks. Whether one wanted to cite The Pretenders, The Cult, Heart, or any other number of 80s hitmakers, there’s always been an extra bit of polished pop je ne sais quois in Leah Lane & co.’s work. Third LP From The Ashes doesn’t veer too far from that core fusion, but is a good deal more sombre in its delivery of it.

From the subdued, insomniac lament of “First To Cry” through “Love Like Goodbye”, with Lane connoting Red Shoes-era Kate Bush as she hypothesizes about an ex over rolling drum fills and downcast synths, even the most cursory of listens reveals From The Ashes to be much more melancholy than anything we’ve heard from the band thus far. That moodier tone suits the breakup theme which runs through the lyrics of the record, with senses of regret, reflection, and the licking of wounds holding over the record until the triumphant closing title track.

Despite its depressed tone, From The Ashes still brings the odd rousing anthem of the sort we’ve come to anticipate from the band – “Pillar Of Salt” and the aforementioned storming “From The Ashes” stand out all the more because of their more sedate cohort – but more impressively the actual range of influences the band’s always drawn upon are still intact. The band still feel like a meeting between your preferred uber goth band (no posers allowed) and any number of peppy new wave acts classic or current, no easy feat when you’re trading in downtempo torch songs. And don’t let the moody ballads fool you – when sax is brought to bear it’s still delivered in raw and rough deathrock fashion, rather than in the 80s AM power ballad mold (much more Skeletal Family than INXS in that regard).

Given the current wave of “but, like, what even is goth?” online discourse, Rosegarden Funeral Party’s sidestepping of that shitstorm is not only graceful, but reframes its terms. It’s impossible to listen to “Doorway Ghost” or “Almost Heaven” and not hear classic goth by even the most strident of definitions, but as From The Ashes reminds us, that isn’t all the band is or is interested in. Even in moments of loss and heartache, Rosegarden Funeral Party get to have their snakebite and black and drink it, too.

Buy it.