Release Date: Jul 22, 2014
Record label: Distiller
Genre(s): Electronic, Britpop, Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Electronic
English electro-alternative quintet the Ramona Flowers blend dense beats, synth-heavy instrumentation, and all the trappings of classic arena rock on their debut album, Dismantle and Rebuild. Some of the 11 selections featured here were included on previous singles and EPs -- the moody acoustic guitars and falsetto vocals of "Lust and Lies" and the jerky drum machines and spare dubsteppy bassline of the title track showed up in identical versions of the songs even two years prior to the album, setting the scene for this more filled-out collection of the band's highly arranged hybrid of electronic atmospheres and more traditional rock sounds. Vocalist Steve Bird's range often flutters between a large spectrum of influences, calling on the spirit of Bono for the album's more bombastic moments, more shy and indie-leaning tones on softer songs, and even dipping into a mode that marries the tortured mumble of Radiohead's Thom Yorke to a Depeche Mode-like sound on synth rockers like "Skeleton Key.
Named after a character from comic book film Scott Pilgrim vs The World, The Ramona Flowers are an intriguing five piece from Bristol. Formed in 2010, the quintet of Steve Bird, Sam James, Wayne Jones, Dave Betts and Ed Gallmore won’t set the world alight with their very un-rock star like names but a run of impressive singles suggests the Bristolians have something thrilling to offer the world of rock music nevertheless. The Dismantle EP was the first recording to surface in 2012 and was the subject of a number of remixes including one by D/R/U/G/S; in fact there’s been a whole host of remix requests made for a number of their songs including offers from Hot Chip, Ladytron and Alt-J.
Named after the ballsy heroine in graphic-novel-turned-Hollywood smash Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, The Ramona Flowers sound tends towards the epic. Yet, while they play the type of made-for-arenas rock-electronica that Muse and Radiohead have made careers out of (the stadium-sized, prickly guitars of opener ‘Tokyo’ recall the former; singer Steve Bird’s delicate falsetto on the title-track tries for the latter), there’s something a little too ‘phone advert’ about it all to properly excite.