Usually the artists I write about in my ‘Incoming’ feature are those that come straight off my email. Today however I bring you Rosencrants who are from Melbourne and are actually friends of a friend of mine. I have to admit to having reservations about listening to these guys when my friend asked me to check them out. I was worried that I wouldn’t like them and I didn’t want to disappoint my friend if I decided not to feature them here. So when I told her I’d give them a listen, I didn’t make any promises. With a tiny fissure of trepidation, I downloaded the tracks and was pleasantly surprised by what I heard.

Taking their name from a character in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Rosencrants are Declan Skinner (lead vocals and guitar), Max Conley (lead guitar and vocals), Curtis Hamid (drums) and Daniel Gregoric (bass and vocals). They’re still at school but have been playing together for a couple of years, as well as doing some pub gigs and Battle Of The Bands appearances over the last year or so. Their list of influences are a mixture of old and new including Jimi Hendrix, Queens Of The Stone Age, The White Stripes, Bob Marley, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Raconteurs, Kaiser Chiefs, The Jam and more.

They only have three songs recorded so far, and I think most of it is pretty DIY. I actually like this, it makes the tracks sound raw and organic. They’re all originals too, proving that they’re more than capable of penning their own tunes. The catchy ‘Pictures In My Head’ is my current favourite, with simple lyrics and an ooooh-ahhhh bit that I spent a lot of time humming under my breath today. The slightly frenetic ‘Spare Change’ opens with a neat riff and has a steady bass line that lurks quietly beneath the surface before coming to the fore about halfway through in a brief tempo slowdown. ‘Magic Potion’ is pretty fast paced, with a some great guitar solos peppered throughout and a dramatic fadeout to finish.

I also like the deep vocals – while they’re a little indistinct on the faster tracks, that’s nothing that can’t be fixed by some additional recording sessions. I think for a bunch of kids who’ve only been playing together for a couple of years, they show a good deal of promise. I think it will be interesting to see how they progress as they gain further experience playing live and develop their songwriting skills. I look forward to checking out more of their gear when they’re able to get a few more tracks recorded – my friend tells me that they do a few covers as well, so who knows, perhaps they’ll feature in my frequent coverage posts one day as well.

Check out the tracks below, and if you want more info you can always check out their myspace.

Pictures In My Head – Rosencrants

Spare Change – Rosencrants

Magic Potion – Rosencrants