Cement Shoes, 2006


REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson


"Hickory dickory dock, some chick was . . ." If you know the rest of that nursery rhyme from Andrew Dice Clay, you are prepared for the amount of cursing on this release.

Ra's vocalist/guitarist Sahaj seems to come from the Clay school of cussing as a means to sound important or to buffer otherwise incompetent material. Sahaj needs to know he doesn't need it - Ra is a good band. The constant swearing between songs is distracting to the point where you just want him to shut up and stop being an ass leading a band that is only marginally successful. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

That minor success came with the singles "Do You Call My Name" and "Fallen Angels" and the current single "Don't Turn Away." Beyond that, though, they are not a household name, and after the amount of cursing here I can see why. You lose count after trying to figure out how many times he cusses; it's like counting the curses as Clay recites the rest of one of his profane nursery rhymes.

Musically, I have no problems with the band. "The Only One" and the ballad-ish "Superman" are all strong tracks. There's an energy in the band's performance that comes through on this recording. Kicking off with a profane intro by someone who is never introduced, Ra hits the stage with "Fallen Angels," though the highlight here is the gut-wrenching lyric of "I Lost Everything Today" that I return to each time I listen to this release.

The release ends with "Do You Call My Name" and the interesting "Skorn." Of the the two, "Skorn" shows the band's creative edge; Sahaj explains that a member of their street team took "Skorn" and mixed it with Ludacris. After that introduction, Sahaj launches into a rap with, yep more cussing, that provides a departure from the rest of their material.

Overall, Ra is a good band that seems on the edge of greatness. But Raw is not a great overall package, simply because there's no need for all the cussing when the musicianship speaks for itself.

Rating: C

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© 2007 Paul Hanson and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Cement Shoes, and is used for informational purposes only.