Review by Vince Leigh
The Raven’s Rock has followed last year’s social conscience charged track 6 Minutes to Midnight with a new release, Smoked A Cigar, another high-energy, raw-edged example of the band’s contemporary indie rock style.
Less folk-like than their previous releases, Smoked A Cigar reveals a more amiable sonic palette, taking on some identifiable elements of the compendium of classic rock and blending it with their restrained yet nonetheless vibrant spirit.
It kicks off with a galvanizing musical motif of chorused guitars and accented stadium rhythmic patterns, the song maintaining its measured power throughout, ascending towards an alleviating and quite satisfying chorus. The protracted notes here, as opposed to the verse’s conversational nuances, seem to act in tandem with the sinuous nature that underpins the entire track, one displayed from the outset.
Another point of difference is the arrangement, holding back on releasing the chorus’ swirling attributes until a run of two verse to pre-chorus sections have expired. This acts as part of that well-established and always welcome surprise factor, inherent in all satisfying records, perhaps a characteristic even more rewarding as it relates to tracks that rely on that delicate interplay between variegation and accessibility.
The post-chorus resolve, which acts as an opportunity for the vehemence contained in the chorus to rest up a little, is also welcome and is subverted at the track’s conclusion to become the final flourish, with the accompanying lyric—and the chaos is your home—fittingly spectral and definitive.
The Raven’s Rock manage to retain an earthly glow, an unprocessed candour most evident herein the vocal performance and perhaps even heightened this time around by the forthright glide of the instrumentation, as it dips and swerves around the melodic terrain.
A valid follow-up to their last release, Smoked A Cigar sets this Canberra outfit on a no doubt veracious, elevated path.