For the past few years, Philadelphia has been making a name for itself by churning out unpretentious punk rock, from Beach Slang and The Menzingers to Cayetana and Sheer Mag; it’s hard to escape distorted guitars in the City of Brotherly Love. Despite sharing a zip code with these bands, the four-piece Rosu Lup have opted for a very non-punk rock sound.
“Is Anything Real,” their debut album, has a sweet indie folk vibe to it, like Band of Horses or The Decemberists. The result is a tight 10-song collection, though a bit monotonous towards the end that still delivers peeks at a band with more to say.
The band has a tendency to play it safe with the music, but they are at their best when they turn up the guitars a bit, like on the title track and “Halloween Ghost;” that’s also where Jonathan Stewart is able to show off his range as a singer.
Rosu Lup may not be treading much new ground with their debut, but they’re doing a commendable job nonetheless.