Absinthe Rose - Digging Ditches & Escaping Holes (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Absinthe Rose

Digging Ditches & Escaping Holes (2010)

Screech Owl

The moniker Absinthe Rose is held by current Bostonian/former Oregonian folk songwriter Kimbo Rose, who blends acoustic traditions with punk ideals and political undertones on Screech Owl Records' debut release Digging Ditches & Escaping Holes.

While generally accompanied only by her acoustic guitar here, Rose is joined by session stalwarts Bill Damon and Rich DellaRocca of Mouth Sewn Shut on bass and drums, respectively, for the album's final track, "Dotted Line." It's worth mentioning first as it's one of the better songs on the record, and stands out from the majority of the other cuts for obvious reasons. While songs on solo acoustic records often have a tendency to run together and linger idly, Rose keeps her compositions fairly succinct and generally at a pretty swift pace for acoustic strumming.

The lyrics on Digging Ditches & Escaping Holes are extremely vernacular, but still effective for the style and aesthetic. On "I Believe," Rose sings, "We can achieve a real positive difference / We can effect an obvious change / […] / I believe in our fight to organize / I believe in integrity not compromise." Aside from the more politically potent numbers, there are just as many songs of personal matters such as "Upon a Drift": "I can live through this / I can find my way / 'Til I stumble and fall lost on a drift again."

Absinthe Rose will certainly not provide the energy and audio aggression punk fans are used to, but it still maintains the spirit required of the genre. In the immortal words of the Minutemen, "punk is whatever we make it to be."