The Raging Marys - “BellaRose”
Review by Daniel Deprè
“BellaRose” is an alt-rock jam that has a very open and free vibe to it. The sound atmosphere is spread open wide, and the music will enwrap you with its crunchy guitars and grungy drums. This is perfect bar music to enjoy with an engaged audience where you can rock out. This track strikes a perfect balance of being heavy in its performance, yet it also is laid back to the point where it’s not aggressively in your face. The vocals are bendy and soft, but still totally engaging and catchy. This is true alt-rock music, complete with a subtle sense of rebellion and passionate inspiration.
Lyrically, The Raging Marys are reflecting on the days of youth in a fun and creative way. While the lyrics are intentionally vague, you can feel and understand the nostalgic emotions they are cultivating. In the verses, the lyrics call upon common aspects of a child’s life in a way that is seemingly referencing specific memories.
“Playing soldier in the park, telling stories after dark, children play in BellaRose.”
The lyrics also playfully reference how children’s imaginations can get the best of them.
“There’s a legend in the yard, from now on you’ll fear the dark.”
The lyrics also are asking the location of BellaRose, “Where do the children go?”
This is such a beautiful and open-ended question. When do children cease being children? Where did they all end up in life?
The arrangement hits all the right marks for a grooving alt-rock track. The guitars fill up most of the space with the very open chords that have just the right amount of tension. The two guitars blend masterfully with the lead guitar often adding subtle voicings on top to create more motion and voice leading. The drums sound huge and give the track a confident and heavy pulse. Despite how much space the drums take up, there is more than enough room for the busy and buoyant bass guitar which adds even more rhythm and movement to the song. Subtle backing vocals added into the chorus bring a nice human element that also helps set it apart from the other sections of the song. All of these elements combine in perfect harmony to create a song that never sits still and never gets boring. “BellaRose” is a fun throwback to the ’80s and it’s filled with soul and great musical performances.
For links to their music and more, head over to their website!
About The Raging Mary's
Just before grunge draped the West Coast in plaid and distorted guitars, San Jose-based The Raging Marys released “Birthday,” their 12-song indie album produced by Oakland punk legend Kevin Army (Green Day, Operation Ivy). Released on vinyl and cassette in November 1989, the band’s mix of gritty garage rock and folky strains garnered critical acclaim, steady airplay on college radio and opening slots for heavyweights including Mudhoney, The Young Fresh Fellows, Loop and The Tragically Hip.
Managed by Dennis Gonzales, founder of POW Magazine, The Raging Marys formed in 1988 out of San Jose’s London Down after an original member left and the band opted to pursue a harder sound with a new member, Gerry Henne.
The Raging Marys were Steve Hartsoe (lead vocals, guitar), brother Ken Hartsoe (drums, vocals), Chris Carbone (bass, vocals) and Henne (guitar).Hartsoe and Carbone also perform again with London Down, which regrouped in 2018 and started releasing new music, including the 13-song “Gnashville”(2018) and“Live in San Jose”(2020).
Henne, whom band members credit with adding a creative edge to their sound, tragically died of cancer in January 2021. The band has dedicated the new release to his memory.