Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Quick hits: Rachael

February 15, 2011

Polish garage rockers Rachael dropped onto my radar with their EP I Bet You Like Drugs Instead of Sex. Having left nicotine out of the named vices, they titled this EP Add a Little Bit of Tobacco. And just as it continues their penchant for vices in titles, it continues their garage rock sound.

But there’s a little bit more psych and stoner going on in their grungy sound this go-round. “Burn Slowly and See” is appropriately titled, as it does just that. It’s drum and bass heavy, resulting in a very low-slung, almost metal-esque track. “Grass” is a bit more on the paisley psychedelic side of things, which is an odd transfer. “Like a High” introduces some slap bass and a funky attitude to the proceedings, but spends most of its time in a space between the stoner rock and the woozy psych of the first two pieces.

The piece de resistance, though, is “Watchsick,” which takes the psych and stoner leanings and synthesizes them into something greater than the whole. The track grooves, but not in a dance-related way; it rocks, but not in an especially heavy way. It sets up a mood and just wears the heck out of it for four minutes. It’s easily the best track here, as it is Rachael at its most distinctive.

Psych/garage fans will find much to enjoy in Rachael, including the pricetag: free. Pick it up here.

Garage rockers Rachael release a solid, grungy EP

February 24, 2010

Rachael’s I Bet You Like Drugs Instead of Sex EP  inhabits the space between Nirvana and Silversun Pickups. Their gritty, grunge-flavored rock with boy/girl vocal trade-offs picks up the attitude but not the volume of Nirvana’s work, while the guitar sound evokes Silversun Pickups without the emotional undertones.  Rachael is a garage band at heart, and there are few, if any, overtures or underpinnings. Anything they wanted to say they said straight-up.

“Juditha” features Mike’s snarling vocals against Olg’s sung ones, couched in an urgent, sinister tune.  Highlight  “All You Need is Lead” comes closest to evoking Silversun, as the guitarist kicks in the reverb and fills out the track with some dense melodic work. Morose slow burner “Going Up in Smoke” shows a different angle of their sound,  letting the songwriting take precedence over rocking out; it’s a valiant effort that struggles in laying too much weight on the vocals, which aren’t well suited for this type of song.

I Bet You Like Drugs Instead of Sex is a great EP. It shows a lot of promise in the songwriting, performance, and production style. There are still things to work out, but Rachael has showed that they have solid ideas and are able to execute them well.

Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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