ROWSIE, a four-piece band from London known for their thought-provoking, emotive brand of rock n roll, have released a new charity single titled Makeshift Grave. The song takes a hard, honest look at the mindless ongoing violence and conflict in Ukraine, shedding light on how the destruction of truth is often the first step in rationalising psychopathic behaviour that leads to the carnage we are blatantly witnessing today. Recorded at the world-famous RAK studios, ‘Makeshift Grave’ combines powerful lyrics, “The f~~kers killed my grandparents too”, and complex melodies, creating an impactful and moving experience for the listener. Topped with a great hooky chorus, “First you kill the truth, then you kill the people, that’s the only way it works. You gotta do it in that order, so nobody knows what you’re up to.”
Speaking about the inspiration behind the song, vocalist and guitarist Richard Rothenberg said, “I was on my phone looking at the news coverage during the early days of the war. I saw this photograph in a story about the invasion; it was a woman’s legs in black and white stockings, half buried in the frozen front yard of her mother’s house. It turns out that she and her grandmother were watching Russian troops pull into town and were randomly shot – murdered. The story went on to say that the mother did her best to bury them while under constant threat. It moved me at a visceral level. My Ukrainian ancestors had had the same thing done to them after the Russian revolution. I felt compelled to write a song about it.”
For the video the band thought to involve some first-hand witnesses to the recent atrocities produced by Richard with bassist Alan D. Boyd taking on director’s duties. It’s a simple concept with Ukrainian dancer Angelina Lengyel and choreography by Anastasiia Artiushok. Costumes and floral crowns were provided by designers Nataliia Horbenko and Anfisa Polyushkevych. All have been affected by the war in personal ways.
Check out the video for Makeshift Grave below and stream here:
“I left Ukraine at the beginning of the war,” says Polyushkevych, “and was looking for a place to stay, start a new life, catch an opportunity to start creating again, after all those horrible things happened. I am absolutely grateful for this opportunity and happy to show it in this music video. I was wondering how such a horrible thing as a war could inspire people to create something beautiful and gather people from different countries to make art together.”
The band’s music has been praised for its unique sound and powerful messaging as magazine Angry Baby pointed out about their previous single Gaslight from 2022 “It’s a call out against pure, evil madness being flung into the world by delusional megalomaniacs whose lies and obfuscations mislead us all. The song is a battle cry of the rational mind and is reflected in the onslaught of sound laid down. It’s raw and angry and it’s brilliant.”
ROWSIE are Richard Rothenberg on guitar and vocals, Holly Henderson on guitar and vocals, Alan D Boyd on bass, and drummer Jess Rollason. The track Makeshift Grave is available now on all major music platforms.
Proceeds for the sales of this single will go to the charity British-Ukranian Aid who ROWSIE have worked with in 2022 raising over £10,000 for the charity in a previous benefit concert.