Infinite Shuffle

January 30, 2011

61 – Ra Ra Riot

Filed under: R, Syracuse NY — assman41 @ 12:01 am

Just like The Helio Sequence, I first discovered Ra Ra Riot a few years ago through  the XMU station on my XM player (man, I miss that little goldmine).

For the most part, RRR sounds like a lot of other indie bands that play catchy pop songs. But the major difference — and it’s pretty noticeable — is the incorporation of a cello and violin on all of their songs.

The two instruments give RRR’s tune an added dimension, something of an orchestral feel. Because of that, the band has actually earned the labels of baroque pop and chamber pop.

You can hear the first plucking of the cello strings a few seconds into the first track of their debut album, 2008’s The Rhumb Line.

Ra Ra Riot – Ghost Under Rocks

The above song is probably the band’s most popular and accessible single to date. It’s also the tune I compared Beach House‘s “Norway” to about a year ago. After having listened that great song countless times in the 12 months, I’m not so sure that was an apt comparison.

But I digress.

Ra Ra Riot, is a six-piece group hailing from Syracuse, N.Y. In addition to the cellist and violinist, they have all the rock group staples — vocalist, bassist, lead guitar and drummer.

They formed in January 2006 and in June of the next year, their drummer died from an apparent drowning.

The band churned on, gradually gaining a solid following through its energetic live shows, touring with such bands as Editors and Tokyo Police Club.

Ra Ra Riot released a self-titled EP in 2007 before dropping their first full-length in August of the next year. In addition to the previously mentioned opening track other strong offerings include “Each Year” and “Dying Is Fine”.

They put out a remix EP, Can You Tell, in 2009 and another EP, Boy, the next year before releasing their second full-length album, The Orchard, in August 2010.

It doesn’t have anything quite as awesome as “Ghost Under Rocks”, but it may have a higher percentage of quality tracks, including “Too Dramatic”, “Boy”, “Massachusetts” and “Do You Remember”.

Ra Ra Riot – Too Dramatic

You can hear nine tracks, including a few special ones, at their MySpace page. While there, you might notice they label their genre as “Healing & EasyListening.”

Much more information can be gleaned from their official website. It looks like they’re currently on tour through March. They apparently came through Chicago in October, and I failed to attend. There’s no telling when I might get to see them.

Don’t be as stupid as Todd. Go see them if you have the chance.


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