"The Rosebuds are a hook-laden, energetic indie group from North Carolina plucked right out of Merge's backyard. Their debut long-player, The Rosebuds Make Out, is a strong and memorable record that sounds fresh on repeated listens. The disc is split between up-tempo rockers and weepy ballads. The rockers are what reach out and grab you on initial listens. Tracks like the goofy "My Downtown Friends," "What Can I Do?," and the buoyant "Kicks in the Schoolyard" are pop songs with sharp-as-roses hooks. Ivan Howard has a perfect rock voice, elastic and sharp, able to carry the tunes easily and with verve. For the most part the instrumentation on the record is spare, with guitars leading the way, but the occasional use of big, clunky, unironic synths make ballads like "Wishes for Kisses" and "Back to Boston" sound like a cross between the Cure and the Anniversary. Which is not a sound too many bands have these days. You can also hear bits of the Pixies, Yo La Tengo, and an old-school Merge band, Spent, in there too; all bands that combine energy with melody and end up right square in classic indie rockville. The only track that lets the side down a bit is the last track on the record, the overly long and repetitive "Make Out Song." Despite that minor hiccup, Merge has really picked a winner here; The Rosebuds Make Out is a sweet smelling bunch of songs by a very promising new band."