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  • Writer's pictureKatherine Allvey


Rosemary's Triplets - Live at the Earthquake

Released 3rd November 2022 on Diablo Records

Reviewed 16th January by Kate

Rosemary’s Triplets are:

Hofnarr - Double bass, vocals

Töppi- guitar, vocals

Pauschi- drums, backing vocals

Live albums are always a bit of a risk. If you’re in a band, you want to capture the energy and vibrancy of a show, but you risk poorer audio quality and a less polished sound, and it’s very much a trade off. At one end of the spectrum with great sound quality you have Blue Cats ‘On a Live Mission’, at the other end…well, any of the Ramones live albums. So, for rocket fuelled German trio Rosemary’s Triplets to go down this route is a gamble with ‘Live At The Earthquake’, a recording of their recent show in Bremen, and it really has paid off for them.

Formed in 2011 in Strausberg, near Berlin, the band’s ‘rocking horror lullabies’ as they call them,’use english, german and russian lyrics and tell stories about headless riders, zombie pirates, nightmares and pub adventures’, and the band ‘aim to create their own style of billy-music’. ‘Punkabilly’ might be the best description of the Rosemary’s Triplets sound, but that doesn’t really cover it fully: there’s the horror element of psycho but it’s much more considered and post-punk compared to their contemporaries. Two full length records have followed since this mission statement and they’re both absolute stompers in their own right, full of striding bass and distorted guitar. The trio have this wonderful sincerity in their music and if this is your first introduction to Rosemary’s Triplets, be prepared for horror and delight.

Back to reality: a strong snarling start over a marching bass, this track comes together like a well oiled machine. If distortion laden psycho anguish from a dimension beyond our own is your bag, you’re going to love this.

Jungle Witch: I love the brutal punk guitar on this track, and it would drop into a serious Surfin Wombats set perfectly. The whoops and hollers of a confident band in their stride give you a clear mental picture of their crazy live style. As you might have noticed in the credits, vocals are shared between Hoffnar and Töppi: both great on their own, but when they come together it’s magic.

Show Me The Way: Hofnarr takes over on vocals in this atmospheric number about a soul accepting they’re heading to hell, and it really drags you up and slaps you back down again. This album was recorded in a relatively small club in Bremen, but this song is so much bigger than that space should contain: it deserves a stadium to appreciate the ‘whoah-oh-oh’

Nie Wieder (Never Again): a shouting desert song that needs dry air and fast cars. The relish on the vocals and solid distortion on the guitar makes this an absolute winner.

Night of the Knife: love the double vocals and sheer energy on this one, and props to the band for doing a song partially in their native tongue!

Death Bringing Wife: keeping it dark and fast, it becomes apparent why these guys are such a big name on the German psycho circuit. They have this distinctive, almost Queens of the Stone Age vibe with a gritty harshness that’s like a shot of cheap vodka.

Scream: : “do you scream?” Is the refrain over a softer murder song, showing they’ve got the chops for the harsher and softer sides of psycho. Worth a listen for the bass on the intro alone.

Leaving this world: why not drop in a little bit of a ska breakdown? Rosemary’s Triplets have a gift for big soaring choruses and it’s put to good effect here over relentless slap bass.

Back from Hell: love the mix of up and down on this set list, and it’s another brutal one. It’s a heavy psycho record for sure but it’s accessible and this one has to be the start of the wrecking pit.

Speed: great lead up to the end with this big energy fan favourite about living fast. It’s a catchy, shouty old school number with 80s vibes that hits you like a truck.

Colt 45: a slower, jazz-tinged, Haunted Cathouse intro with urgent drumming leads into a wailing cowboy track, and you guys know I love a cowboy song. Just wonderful and a solid finish.

What can I say? This is a brilliant record that brings you the live experience wherever you are. If you aren’t a fan of heavy psycho that distill the dive bar spirit into something palatable for you to take a shot of, you will be by the end of this album!

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