Rock and roll was originally founded under two principles: fun and rebellion. There are no true rebels left in rock music. It has all been done and what was once counter culture has become mainstream.
There are, however, a precious few bands left that still have fun in their recordings. It’s easy to say you’re having fun – it’s a lot harder to have that fun effortlessly bleed into the record and infect the listener.
The Racoon Wedding‘s new album Raccoon Dead on the Side of the Road succeeds where it is very easy to fail.
Recorded in a warehouse, over the span of a week, Raccoon Dead on the Side of the Road is a fun record that doesn’t aim any higher than it needs to and that seems to implement the classic “everything but the kitchen sink” philosophy.
You want horns? They’re here. A song that the Blues Brothers would’ve been at home singing? ‘Wet Whistle’ is the one for you. You want a song to fight to? To make love to? To get drunk and sing along to? You name it and you can find it on this record.
Lyrically, the album is solid (and often quite funny). Musically it is grand and tries to balance an epic scope with a bar room sensibility. It doesn’t always succeed and some stylistic shifts are quite drastic but credit should be given to Racoon Wedding for trying anyway. The feeling of a band playing what they want to play and letting loose leaves an indelible impression.
Racoon Wedding are not a band like many others and listening to Raccoon Dead on the Side of the Road is an unusual mix of unpredictability and comfort. There are no covers and all the songs are unique, however, they have a familiarity to them that provoke a listener into thinking they’ve heard them before.
Most of all, it comes back to the true meaning of rock and roll. Rock has long been identified with the image of a couple of musicians playing their instruments and jamming in a garage. A warehouse isn’t exactly a garage but Racoon Wedding use it as such and deliver a record that is throwback to what rock and roll used to be and, in many ways, should be.
It’s unpredictable. It’s not perfect. It’s catchy. And, most importantly, it’s fun.
Lots of fun.
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