Rose Haze released their third album, Maximum Security Prism, a few days ago – an amalgamation of mesmerizing dream-pop, textured shoegaze, and sultry psych-rock.
Made up of Kate Ramsey (vocals, guitar, synth) and Ruben Valdez Gonzales (lead guitar), the album’s genesis occurred when Kate spent time meditating in Kauai, recharging her spiritual energy. Upon her return, she was betrayed and abandoned by her partner and best friend.
Realizing her most trusted friendships were facades, she moved to Oakland, California, where she didn’t know anyone and was alone. Feeling as if confined in a mental glass prison, she restrained her emotional turmoil, put together a band, and wrote incessantly.
Eventually, the glass prison was transfigured into a gorgeous kaleidoscopic prism in which Kate stood clothed in her power and worth as an artist. Hanging prisms throughout her studio, she began working with guitarist Ruben Valdez Gonzales. Together, they tracked, arranged, and mixed the album during the lockdown in their home studios.
Comprising eight tracks, the album starts off with “Charge On,” opening on gentle swirling colors and segueing into a plush dream-pop melody with hints of psych-rock running through it. Kate’s voice, flavored by exotic timbres, imbues the lyrics with dreamy tones.
Highlights include “Posers,” with gnarly layers of granular guitars riding a potent rhythm as Kate’s vampiric tones give the lyrics dark, portentous coloration. “Hours” features a low-slung, gleaming guitar intro, followed by subdued percussion that slowly takes on dynamic heft. At once hypnotic and lysergic, the harmonics glide on glittering, edgy textures of psych-rock.
Stripped-down to just Kate’s evocative voice and a vibrant piano, “Genuine” allows Kate to parade her nuanced, redolent vocals. Merging savors of jazz and shimmering psych-rock, “Let’s Turn” offers a tasty instrumental number with a deliciously fat, active bassline.
Helical and swirling with polychromatic, psychedelic layers, Maximum Security Prism is simultaneously entrancing and singularly imaginative.