The Ropes – “I Miss You Being Gone”

The Ropes - "I Miss You Being Gone"

There’s been a ubiquitous advert plastered at MySpace for a New York-based, indie, noise-pop band named The Ropes, where, in a savvy, and enticing, marketing ploy, band members Sharon Shy (vocals, bass) and Toppy (guitars, drums, sounds) have made all of their tunes available as free mp3 or zip downloads at their official site .  Perusing the free downloads page today, however, I discovered that one or two EPs are no longer there, so this might be a limited-time offer.  It would be a nice gesture to donate some money to fund more albums from The Ropes.  You can also purchase most of their music at the official site.

If not for that prominent advert placement at MySpace, I might never have known about this band and its (dis)engaging sound that draws from the pop, rock, electronic, and dance genres, creating its own distinctive mix of distorted to ringing guitars, buzzing to blippy electronics, and appealing, melodic song structures, with Sharon delivering heart-wringing to deliciously deadpan lyrics (like the outsider vibe of “What they do for fun / reminds me that I’m not one of them.” from “What They Do for Fun”).

Sharon and Toppy move from dancefloor beats to melancholic ballads to stimulating rockers with assured ease, with an alluring pop-song sheen being the common denominator.  They released their debut full-length What They Do For Fun in May 2008 and followed it up with the EP Love Is A Chain Store (the cover art alone is worth owning).  This past February brought the ultra-short EP (or is it a single and b-side?) I Miss You Being Gone, off of which comes this title song.

“I Miss You Being Gone” starts with a sharp, simmering buzz of distorted guitar notes playing a simple refrain, an underlying bass rumble, cymbal-shake, and drum beat, with a toned-down, emotionally-cool Sharon sing-talking androgynously. On the second verse, softer, chiming guitar notes briefly pick up and replace the distorted guitar pattern.  By the halfway mark, both guitars interweave against a running bass line and constant cymbal shake, leading to a build up of kinetic drum-work, bittersweet, elongated keyboard notes, and Sharon flatly intoning “… as I get closer / I am further and further from / the feeling of closure that I long for…”

Songs to definitely check out from the band’s arsenal:  “Cry to the Beat”, “Kill Her Off”, “Love Is A Chain Store”, “What They Do for Fun”, “Hey Contemporary”, “Too Cool to Love”, “Water and Headphones”, and “Clubs In Europe Forever”.