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Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

RAZ Canadian review

THE RAZ BAND - Madison ParkTasty slab of razzmatazz from a band who know how to let their hair down from coast to coast with a Badfinger in tow.

Three decades on the scene haven’t diminished this ensemble’s ability to build a robust kind of rock ‘n’ roll, with vigor and simplicity unburdened by extra exquisiteness but not without an arresting flourish. That’s how it goes for the group’s first full-length offering whose sixteen tracks – fueled by love, the four-letter word gracing six titles – defy the players’ age while somehow reflecting singing guitarist Michael Raz’s journey from New Jersey to Los Angeles.

Brass vying for space with six-string riffs and slider caress on “$1.50 For Your Love” and the song’s chorus catching the listener’s skin, there’s no escaping the music’s mirth – for the most part. The drive may sag on the George Harrison homage “Time Marches On” – infested with the Fabs quotes – yet the presence of Joey Molland on these cuts grounds them just fine, so the update of his BADFINGER rave “Love Me Do” is a weighty addition to the context where harmonies could reign if they possessed an air of importance. They don’t, though, which gives a playful recklessness to the groove shifts in “The Road Of Love” and spiritual levity to “Searching Forever”; the melodies that feel comfortably familiar and made irresistible by Joe Vitale’s piano.

On the darker side, “Say Ya Love Me” has a bluesy pull to it, and “You Don’t Know A Thing” explores a punk abandon, whereas vaudevillian pastiche “The Paths That We Take” is linked to the vibes-adorned “Barbara Operator” in their adventurous, storytelling nostalgia. Such innocence peaks with a children-assisted finale of “When Dogs Fly South” as the musicians’ cast are marching, to an acoustic ring, into a song and making a point of impossibility to notch a hit, but another BEATLES’ reference might suggest the record was only a dream: if so, anything can happen, including a charts dent – it’s that good.


The Best of RAZ
CD - £9.99

Madison Park
CD - £9.99

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