The Sun Dogs
Label: Sub Pop
Catalog #: 71053
The notion that there is nothing new under the sun can be both a blessing and a curse to musicians. On the one hand, it absolves artists from any nagging sense that they have to reinvent the wheel with every new project. On the other, it makes innovation seem like a fool’s errand. Seattle songwriter Chris Cheveyo embraces this blessing, but, with his compatriots in Rose Windows, he also defies the curse. The band follows Western traditions in their instrumentation, using the basic tools employed in past decades of American and British rock music. Elements of The Band’s folk-infused rock, The Doors organ-driven psychedelia, and Black Sabbath’s blues-based dirges can be heard in Rose Window’s debut album The Sun Dogs. But the septet’s curiosity goes much further than a few well-chosen classic rock records. The band devoured Persian, Indian, and Eastern European music, and incorporated the revelations learned into Rose Windows’ sound. The Sun Dogs challenges the assumption that all creative territories have been mapped out and charted. While Rose Windows aren’t interested in making music of the future, one reviewer was wise enough to note “a sound like this would not be possible in any other time.”
Rose Windows began in late 2010 in a house in Seattle’s Central District, where Cheveyo found himself tiring of the limited palette of his prior heavy, post-rock project. Starting with a few rough demos by Cheveyo alone, Rose Windows took shape as the band amassed members from their circle of musician friends. Rose Windows began playing out, fluidly sharing the stage with underground art-metal bands one night and popular indie Americana acts the next.
In November of 2011, the band began working on The Sun Dogs with local producer Randall Dunn (SunnO))), Boris, Earth, Master Musicians of Bukkake). Dunn’s penchant for musical anthropology proved the perfect match for the band, with their mutual curiosity and artistic ambition broadening the scope of the album. Dynamics were expanded. Boundaries were pushed.
Rose Windows have toured the West Coast several times, and with the release of The Sun Dogs, the band plans much more. In the meantime, they continue their search—delving into archives of long-lost albums, learning more about their craft from renowned local musicians, and charting their own path in an ancient art.