Excerpted below, read the full review here:
“Jon DeRosa’s latest album A Wolf in Preacher’s Clothes is sort of the missing link between Jarvis Cocker and Leonard Cohen…This one finds him alternating between dark, lushly crooned, Scott Walker-inflected chamber pop and more minimalist, postpunk-tinged, distantly creepy rock. Violinist Claudia Chopek’s string arrangements – also featuring Julia Kent on cello – are to die for, a rich, velvety chocolate truffle for the ears. Overhead, DeRosa’s nuanced, cat-ate-the-canary baritone lingers, sometimes ominous, sometimes with more than a hint of rakishness. And he paints a hell of a picture…”
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Limited edition vinyl still available: Mother West Records
CD available on Rocket Girl Records via Darla Records in the US / Rough Trade in the UK
For updates and performance schedule: Jon DeRosa on Facebook and Twitter.
As if praise from Jack Rabid at Big Takeover last week wasn’t enough, this week the great Tim Hinley (of the beloved and long-running Dagger) gives A Wolf… 9 out of 10 stars. Check out the full review below or at Blurt Online here.
A Wolf In Preacher’s Clothes
I recently had told a friend, who knows DeRosa, that the guy looks like Danzig, to which my pal laughed and said he needed to tell him (he also referred to him as “a real solid dude, a great guy”). As it turns out, DeRosa was born in Lodi, NJ, where Danzig began The Misfits, but was raised in the Jersey Shore town of Manasquan (being a Jersey Shore guy myself, Ocean City, N.J., I surfed there once). I had heard DeRosa’s more ambient project, Aarktica, and wasn’t completely impressed (also, Pale Horse and Rider, another one of his musical projects) but upon hearing his Anchor ep from last year, I spotted some serious talent – also good taste, as he covered The Chills’ “Submarine Bells” – which leads me to believe that I should revisit some of those Aarktica records. One thing is for sure: DeRosa needs to release more records under his own name. So far he’s batting .1000!
On the opening cut, “Birds of Brooklyn” you’re immediately struck by the smoothness of his deep voice; think Scott Walker, Leonard Cohen and, to a certain extent, Nick Cave. The intriguing melody and swooping orchestration bring home a winner. Same with the stunning “True Men” in which DeRosa namechecks both Robert Mitchum and William Holden amidst a swirling backdrop of crying strings. “Teenage Goths” kicks the tempo up into 3rd gear with a choppy, start/stop cut that melds into a dancing melody (same with “Who Decides?”), while “Easter Parade” gives it the neatly-trimmed tag of chamber-pop with DeRosa’s croon in full effect. And on “Ladies in Love,” well, there won’t be a dry eye in the house by the song’s end.
If anyone’s listening, this will end up on several best of 2012 lists – including my own. – Tim Hinley/Blurt