Typhoid Rosie, a high-energy, alt/punk rock band with pop hooks and indie grit, have just released their new album, Queen of Swords, an empowering and defiant rally cry of self-love, self-reliance, and independence.
Frontwoman Rosie Rebel says of the new album, “While I have the world’s ear, I want you to know that your life, well-being, evolution, growth and happiness are worth fighting for. I want this to be the album playing when the universe gives you a slap across the face and tells you Wake up! Get Up! Your life is worth fighting for! There’s not a mortal walking this Earth who will leave this life without deep emotional battle scars. This record is mostly about how we survive those moments that cut us so deeply.”
Queen of Swords has ten tracks: Queen of Swords, All I Need, 1:11, Two of Cups, Defend Your Temple, When We Were Young, This One’s For You, The Chariot, The Riveter, and On My Way. All of the songs are upbeat, loud, and aggressive, with 70’s British rock vibes—think The Runaways meets The Sex Pistols. According to Rosie Rebel, each song has a deep meaning about something she and the band is passionate about, with many of them relating to Tarot and astrology.
Rosie says, “Six tracks have Tarot references including: Queen Of Swords, 1:11, Two Of Cups, This One’s For You, The Chariot, and On My Way. I find that Tarot rules because there’s so many liars, douchebags and seven of swords motherfuckers out there.”
For instance, “Two of Cups” is an “epic love song” about the astrological concept of Twin Flames. “Defend Your Temple” is a letter to little girls and women craving love in an increasingly disposable world. While “The Riveter” is a class union-punk anthem, showing support for labour unions.
Overall, I think Queen of Swords is just okay. Although I appreciated Typhoid Rosie’s passion for purposeful song writing, from an artistic point of view, the album feels scattered. It feels like the band tried to write about everything that is important to them, instead of having a central theme of the album. The Tarot and astrology references are inconsistent and will be unrelatable to many people (including myself); leaving much of the band’s passion completely lost on the audience. While each individual song is enjoyable, together as an album the songs sound so similar they are almost indistinguishable. I think Typhoid Rosie could really be something special if they put a little more focus on the artistic side of music and less on the social justice side.
Furthermore, I’m not a fan of the bands name. The name Typhoid Rosie is based on the story of the so-called “Typhoid Mary”—a woman named Mary Mallon who was villainized and locked away in isolation for twenty-three years because she was an asymptomatic carrier of typhoid fever in the late 1800s. The story is incredibly sad (Mary died alone in quarantine in 1939) and feels a little gauche considering the current global pandemic.