New Music - Ra Ra Riot

I’ve been on quite the 90s kick the past 2 weeks or so, catching up with old favorites and discovering new ones. Right now I’m jamming to Stereolab’s Mars Audiac Quintet, and next up is Jawbox’s For Your Own Special Sweetheart - two albums I’ve never listened to before tonight. Thanks Treble. I’ve got it in the back of my head to do my own 50 or 100 favorite albums of the 90s list, but I’m only one guy and that would be a lot of work. Maybe though…

As far as new music goes, I haven’t much to tell you tonight. I have been sitting on this post for a few days though - by now you have very likely heard the tragic story of Ra Ra Riot. On the heels of a self-titled EP the band became a certified blog sensation, and seemed poised for some immediate success. But then drummer John Pike was found dead following a show in Rhode Island last summer, and the band’s future was suddenly in doubt. The surviving members decided to soldier on, and have recently released their full length debut, The Rhumb Line, on Barsuk Records.

The Rhumb Line is a record made in the wake of tragedy, and as such Ra Ra Riot seemed to approach the sessions with an added fervor. Their sound is steeped in indie-rock tradition, but the string section Alexandra Lawn and Rebecca Zeller provide gives the band a distinct sound over many of their contemporaries. The songs recall many of the highlights of modern rock from the past 2 decades without ever sounding derivative, and reestablishes Ra Ra Riot as a young band with a tremendous upside. The first single is cryptically called “Dying Is Fine” and sounds like Arcade Fire covering Dexys Midnight Runners. Check it..

MP3 :: Dying Is Fine
(Buy The Rhumb Line here)

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