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Rosemary's Triplets - Back to Reality

Released May 2021

Reviewed by Kate, 26th July 2023

Rosemary’s Triplets are:

Hofnarr - Double bass, vocals

Töppi- guitar, vocals

Pauschi- drums, backing vocals

With the European festival season in full swing, it’s time to revisit one of the best German psychobilly bands out there at this moment in time: Rosemary’s Triplets. Released ten years after they formed in Berlin, their third album, ‘Back to Reality’, is their strongest to date . It also fulfils their aim ‘to create their own style of -billy music’ as it hops between psychobilly, horror punk and primitive rockabilly. If you haven’t listened to them before, I envy your moment of listening to their harsh, desert sound and realising how brilliant they are for the first time…

Beautiful Day - Who knows if they’re being sarcastic or not? The harshness of the shared vocals contrasts brutally with the upbeat lyrics. It’s a simple song relying on sheer force to make a punchy start to the album, and the backing vocals (think the kind of ‘whoahs’ which characterise a noughts punk band like Pennywise) give a unifying energy.

Back To Reality - If you were lucky enough to catch Rosemary’s Triplets’s limited edition Live album earlier this year, you may well recognise some of the tracks here: trust me, they sound just as good in the studio as they do live. This tracks deals with the sad problem of when your dreams are much more pleasant than your waking life via punky guitar and so much slap bass pop.

Leaving The World - You wouldn’t expect a ska beat breakdown or a very catchy chorus on this track about running away, but both are included along with a guitar solo that races up a staircase of notes before dropping back into spookiness.

Vollmond (‘Full Moon’) - The last song seamlessly transitions into this one, and it’s a proper old-school style psychobilly shouter. Imagine the Trashmen at their angriest and that’s what they’re channelling here.

The Moon Is Rising - Just as catchy, it’s at this point that you realise that this album doesn’t let up for a second - even the slower numbers which would otherwise serve as a respite are just as full on. It’s also worth noting how much of an ensemble Rosemary’s Triplets are, with no one member snatching the spotlight, and this is one of those songs where the shared vocals really link everything together.

Trinkteufel - Presumably named after the legendary rock bar in Berlin, there’s fun fairground vibes on the guitar. Sadly, I can’t comment on the lyrics when Rosemary’s Triplets sing in their home language as my German is limited to disagreements with bouncers in Hamburg nightclubs, but who cares? It’d be the perfect song to drink while taking a shot of schnapps as it’s short, very snappy and full of bass flair.

Highway Without End - Ghostly banjos and undead accordions add a layer of mist to this country tinged track. Dropping the vocals to a whisper then switching to a harsher line about the fate of the poor soul’d unfortunate corpse is a deliciously atmospheric touch.

Nie Wieder (‘Never Again’) - My favourite track with it’s build up and full pelt, galloping release that transitions into a chorus like an anthem. This is the track that gets the crowd wrecking with a pause to raise their fists to heaven and bellow out the title.

Death Bringing Wife - Another regular feature in live sets, it’s a brilliant description of the toughest beautiful murderess out there. Again, playing the volume and tone adds to the horror atmosphere along with the chopping guitar.

Am Meer (‘By The Sea’) - There’s a touch of softness on the vocals and a very minimal guitar presence on the verses which shows off another side to the Triplets. I love the inclusion of a properly plaintive guitar solo to break from the horror for just a second.

Il Medico Della Peste (‘The Plague Doctor’) - Rosemary’s Triplets do gruesome lyrics so well but without revelling in the gore, instead preferring to use them to create a haunting atmosphere. It’s all about the bass flourishes as the plague sweeps through somewhere in Italy.

Kein Zurück (‘No Return’) - A proper rock Guitar intro ushers in speed psycho that launches into the stratosphere like a horror rocket. The cuts and flow of the guitar line add an edge to another hard track.

Denim Demon - The tale of a homosexual biker gang, it’s another big shouter which definitely displays the band's idiosyncratic sense of humour.

Der Reiterlose Kopf (‘The Headless Rider’) - And now, the epilogue to the riotous journey through a killer album. There’s accordion and Marshall Grant echoes on the bass to keep it all mysterious.

If you have even a passing interest in the harder, darker side of the scene, you need to check out Rosemary’s Triplets. They’re a force in the European psychobilly scene that deserve a thorough listen and a decent pair of wrecking boots, and they’re only going to get stronger on their next release.

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