Raw

Ra

Cement Shoes, 2006

http://www.raband.net

REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 03/08/2007

"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

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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