Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Criminally Overlooked But Not Buried Underground

With the phenomenal amount of music released these days from every corner of the industry, it isn't surprising for a band or two to get lost in the shuffle - in fact in this business it's a downright certainty.

The Ravines is one such example of a criminally overlooked record from recent years. As a duty, we felt we should seek it out, dust it down, give it an airing and make you feel as ashamed (as we were) when the proverbial needle hit the groove.

The Ravines first CD Manifesto of a Broken Heart was actually released back in 2005 on the C-Side Records label and harks back to a simpler time musically (ie: somewhat earlier than 2005!). Singer/Songwriter Chris Corney and drummer James Crossley originally met back in 2000 when they played in Peterborough band the Contrast.

Their sound encapsulates Americana crossed with an inherent Britishness. My favorite track is title track Manifesto of a Broken Heart which features a rootsy Keith Richards' guitar and the stuck-to-roof-of-your-mouth catchy riff.

The harmonizing, the jangly guitar, and rumbling bass on the third track Supersize is infectious. Fifth song Best Friends also grabbed me; the harmonies in particular recall the Contrast's greatest song Caught in a Trap, to which of some of these guys contributed, of course

Overall The Ravines material reflects an experienced world weariness of angst and hope dashed with buzzword modernity in the use of language like 'downsize' and 'supersize'. Much of this feeling culminates in the closer The Getaway. A great and sure way to end the album.

If you looking for references you may already know, try these for size: Gin Blossoms, Goo Goo Dolls and Scottish bands the Silencers and Diesel Park West. All decent and seminal in their own way.

It is hard not to fall in love with this album, and it will only improve on repeated listens. Roll down those windows when you are listening to this once spring comes and make sure you drown out those hip-hop monkeys at the traffic light.

For full length tracks check out their page here. If you love the bands music as much as us you can purchase their CD at CDBaby .