Last week saw the release of AMMO's new single for "Rose + Crown", the first musical release from the Los Angeles artist since her band Brass Box's debut album Cathedral.
This ethereal track opens up like a tribal spirit through smoke and fog, formless before AMMO's vocals begin to draw out the specter.
This is a fitting description as the track appears to be about a final farewell from this mortal coil.
If one were to take things literally, and for the sake of this review, we will, the lyrics talk about the ghost of someone who has lingered here too long, and through the ritual of a procession, through rose and crown, that soul is finally released.
As is the case with most music being released these days, this one resulted from the coronavirus pandemic that devastated musical ambitions, businesses, and lives worldwide.
The embrace of death, in this case, is what AMMO's Bandcamp description of the track as a metaphor of:
"the catharsis and freedom from self-imposed shackles."
We would imagine that "self-imposed" is with, again, the gripping sensation of having no control of the pandemic, and the struggles it imposed on all of us.
The song is indeed very freeing, airy but not drifting thanks to Alex Posell of Black Flamingos' steady drumming.
But it's the b-side to this single, "Total Recall" that completes the story.
It's actually a cover of The Sound's song from their Heads and Hearts (1985), the album that many saw as an optimistic return after breaking away from a bad relationship with an abusive label.
The Sound frontman, Adrian Borland sings about holding onto memories, shifting in and out of optimism, while struggling for some cohesion at the same time.
Where "Rose + Crown" is abstract in comparison, AMMO's cover is a more defined-ghostlike form of Adrian Borland himself?
Like many of our pop idols, Borland would succumb to mental health issues with depression and would end up taking his own life in '99.
It's therefore also fitting that AMMO's cover is part of Dune Altar's awesome compilation of various artists that pays a tribute to The Sound!
AMMO is actually on that comp twice, the other is with her band Brass Box, where they cover "One Thousand Reasons" and so it's blatantly obvious she's a big fan of The Sound!
If you like this post and would like to buy us beer, snacks, or support us overall, feel free to donate what you want via PayPal!
A not so tragic ending to this story is that 100 percent of the profit made from the album goes to PAINTED BRAIN, a mental health organization whose mission "creates lasting community-based solutions to mental health challenges and the impact of social injustice through arts, advocacy, and enterprise."
Rose + Crown is the first in a series of singles to AMMO's future debut release 'The Great Chaos'.