Four months after our initial track premiere and interview feature with South Wales’ bluesy, post hardcore tinged atmospheric rockers ROPE, we’re pleased to give you the first listen of their new excellent record “Come Closer Now”, available tomorrow, July 6th, via Truthseeker Music and Flood Records! Stream it below and dive into a special track by track rundown delivered by the band’s vocalist and guitarist Kai.
“Come Closer Now” is both a logical and revealing successor to their previous records, as well as a great leap forward for ROPE. It runs a gamut of emotions, producing incredibly exploratory songs that you feel more than listen to. Moody, thick sounding ballads, a little blead soundscapes and slowly crawling riffs are the dominant form here, but it surely leaves you with a powerful impression.
Having started life as a trio of close friends, ‘Come Closer Now‘ sees live guitarist Luke Davies permanently adopted to the band, and the addition of a second guitarist has enabled them to add greater detail and texture to the nuanced, mesmerising songs they’ve become known for. Again choosing to track the album entirely live in the studio with Lewis Johns, ‘Come Closer Now’ is the pure sound of the band, with little added or taken away, and Luke’s guitar serves to add a broader dimension to Rope’s sound which certainly wouldn’t have been achievable previously.
In the two years since the release of their first album, ‘Manteision Bodolaeth; or The Perks of Being’, Rope have been lauded by many of the pillars of the punk and hardcore community, playing a number of high profile shows with bands including Rolo Tomassi, Gnarwolves and Listener, as well as appearing to festival audiences at both Ieper Fest and Fluff Fest. ‘Come Closer Now’ shows a band in full stride, full of intent and with a clear idea of their how approach should manifest itself sonically.
In an age where the attention span of music listeners appears to be diminishing, Rope are an absolutely crucial band. As with their previous album, ‘Come Closer Now’ is an incredibly pure musical journey, four friends in a studio playing their hearts out and laying themselves bare. It’s easy to understand why Rope have become your favourite band’s favourite band
Every Good Boy Deserves Food
A weird song that doesn’t really sound like much that I can put my finger on. The bassline is the bassline from ‘Tied Up In Notts’ by Sleaford Mods, but you wouldn’t know that if I hadn’t just told you so I don’t feel bad. We improvised the song around that bassline and I put lyrics over the top. The song was originally called ‘ Nun Oblectamini?(Are you not entertained?)’ and the words are basically someone (not me, just someone) trying to get their head around the point of doing anything artistic whatsoever in a world where its validity all depends on how much a public like it.
Slow, heavy, repetitive and sentimental. I love where I’m from, but these days I’d rather be from there than be there for too long. It’s all about leaving a place you love because you’ve kind of exhausted it and it’s exhausting you. There’s some biblical stuff here, but it’s pertinent to the topic. As I said to a good friend the other day, “if Jesus stayed in Nazareth, he’d just be some wanker”.
The end is a note to my little sister; an excellent human of whom I am very proud. Love you, Ez.
A good ole ‘song’ that I’m pleased to be able to say I wrote. I don’t want to give too much away, but I wrote the words for my ex girlfriend, Ceri – another frankly wonderful human -on one occasion we spent a long time talking about how people seem to have lost each other, in a way that struck us both as particularly startling when it comes to loving relationships. Without going all Critical Theory on you, after years of finding our worth in objects, it feels like it’s kind of rubbed off on our relationships with each other. As well as our first and only vocal harmony, there’s a reference to Unchained Melody, Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If’ and our own domestic tea drinking habits.
A cool, upbeat song about the struggles of self-realisation that reminds me of a Kraftwerk-Beatles. When I wrote it I was like “nah we don’t sound like that”, but the boys liked it and now we do.
Musically one of my favourites on the record. Mistakes, sloppiness and all, you can really hear the four of us playing in a room on this. Luke’s guitar also makes this song about a million miles wider, sonically, so nice one for that, bro. My grandad Bob is another of my favourite humans. He speaks largely in platitudes, some of which have really stuck with me. This describes a dream I had where we were walking on the beach at Aberavon, with the spectre of Port Talbot Steel Works, where he worked for 30 years, hanging over us. In this dream he was holding a blue Cardiff City scarf and spoke lucidly about getting old. I don’t normally remember dreams, if I even dream at all, so the fact that 2 or 3 things he said, particularly “if you’re carrying a gun, you’d better learn to dodge a bullet” stood out so vividly after I’d woken up was something I took for at least vaguely meaningful. The sample at the end of the outro is Jack Nicholson’s monologue from the end of Michelangelo Antonioni’s ‘The Passenger’.
Luke and I wrote the music for this song together one lunchbreak during our short stint as teachers at the same school. I was teaching German and Luke music, so most lunchbreaks we’d be in his music classroom tinkering about on the piano like a pair of GCSE students. I had a cool octave-y verse and Luke piled in with these great chorus chords that echoed the interval of the chorus in Exit Interview. The lyrics were written after I read the epic poem ‘Les Fleurs du Mal (The Flowers of Evil)’ by Charles Beaudelaire, where he talks about the bleakness and emptiness of the society he lived in, although to these eyes they seemed like halcyon days, and I thought “shit, what if he was alive now?!” When I listen to it now, I’m reminded of a great quote by pop culture’s wisest sage, Leonard Cohen who had this to say about his own Beaudelaire-inspired poetry: “This writing embarrasses me. I am humorist enough to see a young man stepping out of Stendhal, given to self-dramatisation, walking off a comfortless erection. Perhaps masturbation would have been more effective and less tiring.”
Like what you hear? GO HERE to check out the Songs That Inspired ‘Come Closer Now’ playlist on Spotify!