God bless Miyuki Furtado. He’s in a band, does at least a third of the work: singing, writing appearing in photos, yet at the end all of it, when the final product is presented, what name goes on the top? The Rogers Sisters.
Must niggle. And he must have tried: “Why not The Rogers Sisters and me?”, he pleads, “Or Me And The Rogers Sisters?” “Uh…. Too long.”, the girls reply. “The posters have already been printed”, the girls lie. “We’ll look at it for the next record.”, the girls promise. It’s like they say, never work with animals, young children or siblings. Or Sting.
The Invisible Deck (a 1920s card trick dontchaknow) is a variable, schizophrenic record, one minute playing at jittery, “get-on-the-Franz-floor” new-wave like numbers (Why Won’t You?), then creeping around in a veil pretending to be in Arabian Nights (Never Learned To Cry) or trying to create a nursery rhyme out of gibberish in a manner unhappily reminiscent of the Fiery Furnaces most pointless moments (Money Matters).
The first half of the album doesn’t gel. The styles too different, the songs too jarring inconsistent. But the second half is the most ambitious, most cogent and most interesting The Rogers’ have yet produced in their admittedly short career and enough to ensure they aren’t simply written off as another Brooklyn based art-rock trio.
You Undecided glints with a metallic sheen, strangely reminiscent of The Kills and managing to capture some of their gritty nihilism and worldly disgust, while Emotional Control finds the band spanning the boy/girl vocal divide with some aplomb, spat questions from Furtado balanced with oh-so sweet replies from the siblings.
But it’s the final track Sooner Or Later that really hits home, tearing up the “Noo-yaawk” rulebook in both length (eight plus minutes, long enough for some bands on the scene to fit an entire career into) and style. It’s like a gothic B-52s, who’ve decided to move the Love Shack from a little ol’ place where we can get together to a Baroque cathedral in central Transylvania. With organs, gargoyles and dark purple full-length curtains.
It’s definitely a mixed bag. With sublime, ridiculous and slightly dull all taking up fairly equal amounts of real estate. Occasionally The Rogers’ slight of hand in blending influences is impressive, but equally often the results are more than a little frustrating. Still, at the end of it all at least two of them get to see their name in lights.