Rakkasan – "Strangest Feeling EP"
From Aural Innovations #42 (May 2011)
Rakkasan belong to that league of stoner/psych bands that owe just as much debt to the rough and tumble proto-punk frenzy of rockers like The Stooges and Blue Cheer as they do the sludgy doom of Black Sabbath. What sets Rakkasan apart from their ilk like Nebula and Fu Manchu is that this trio shows some real pop sensibility in their song writing. Not that their sound is softened up in anyway, no, far from it, but their brand of raging rock n’ roll is filled to the brim with pop hooks and catchy choruses that make this collection of songs just as easy to sing along to as they are to bang your head to. There are lots of clever vocal arrangements (all three members of the band sing) and plenty of acid drenched guitar solos (love the searing, molten fretwork on the slow burner, Crying Shame!). There’s no stretching out here though, the songs are all compact (3 – 3 ˝ minutes), but the band packs a lot into each tune. Favourite track here for me is Ode to the Cosmic Warlords, which is an absolutely terrific slab of heavy psych. But thanks to Rakkasan’s clever pop sensibility, each song is distinctive and memorable. This is a great start and hopefully we’ll be hearing more from them. I’d love to hear a full-length from these guys with a selection of great songs like the ones on this EP and maybe one or two extended psych jams!
For more info, visit: http://www.myspace.com/rakkasanmusic
Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald