“Who the Hell are Rose Tiger, Graeme?” I hear you ask! Releasing their debut album The End Forever through French independent label Upton Park, Rose Tiger is the brainchild of former Serpent and Jehnny Beth member Cyprien Jacquet, who joined forces with Irene Gonzalez and Domi Hawken in 2020. The concept of the album itself is the third of three acts, following the release of EPs Act I: The Shallows and Act II: The Ascent in 2022 – exploring capital city ‘Archaeopolis’ through the art of glam rock, set in a fantasy world where humans coexist with dinosaurs and robots.
The Shallows (opening) kicks things off with a short, sharp, synth-based instrumental and leads straight into Hypersonic, with the bass guitar setting the tempo and a distinct 1960s rock ‘n’ roll feel. Acoustic guitar introduces Scarlet Eye, where the instrumentation builds throughout the track giving a pseudo-euphoric feel, whilst following track Abby’s Song features the beautiful vocals of Halo Maud and fantastic string arrangement, resulting in an incredibly light, uplifting song. Domi Hawken takes lead vocals for Could Be A Fantasy, which I would consider the first true rock track on offer, and this is complimented well by follow up track, Automatic. Title track The End Forever continues the vibe of the previous two tracks with piano and punchy chords, reminiscent of peak 1970s glam rock.
The next track on the album, Camelia should be a future single release. At times I’m reminded of Hard-Fi’s Hard to Beat with undertones of Dream Academy’s Life In A Northern Town. The album then takes a romantic turn with When You’re Here, a more acoustic track with a slower tempo, which somehow keeps it rock ‘n’ roll at its core. Then Rose Tiger take a more Latin beat to begin Unusual Trouble, but this builds to a heavier, rock chorus, and is followed by I Won’t Go Back, which gives us more glam rock vibes to feast upon.
The first single release of the album, Meet Me At The Cemetery delivers a heavy bass leading the driving tempo of the tune, and lovely harmonies in the chorus – a very well assembled piece of music. In true theatrical fashion, Leaving This Town provides a grand finale, a show-stopping song that would not be out of place in the West End, with the outro track The Shallows (ending) closing the album with a short instrumental ensemble.
The End Forever is an energetic album which, though a little unpolished, is extremely easy to enjoy. The album flows well, never samey, yet not stylistically disjointed, and is filled with contagious hooks and riffs that burrow into your brain. Though the artistic concepts of world-building with dinosaurs and robots is lost on a dullard like myself, I feel that the songs in isolation are more than enough to hold their own. The clear 1970s glam rock influence is unabashedly obvious, with synths and other influences well woven in, resulting in a distinct sound which will appeal to a broad range of fans.