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RAQ: Ton These

Sometimes what's on the surface isn't always what you get when you uncover the outer layer. Such is the case with Vermont's own RAQ, who on first glance appear to be just another jam band onthe Harmonized Records label, but in actuality are something a hell of a lot more. While moments of the jam style are here, like those trademark laidback vocals, breezy melodies, and sinewy guitar solos, there's much more here than meets the eye. For one, this band can flat out rock when they want to, as they do so well on the fiery, almost Deep Purple-ish thumpers "City Funk" and "One of These Days", both featuring searing & heavy guitar licks from Chris Michetti and snarling Hammond organ from Todd Stoops. In fact, Stoops' wild synths on "Botz", coupled with the intricate rhythms from drummer Greg Stukey & bassist Jay Burwick, give that piece a strong prog rock flavor. The interplay between the funky guitars, thick Hammond & synths, and deep grooves elevate "Bootch Magoo", a tight yet complex piece that will have you dancing as well as getting your "fusion thing" on. Check out the little Return to Forever meets Yes meets Phish ending to this one, with plenty of spiraling guitar and piano passages. Three of the band members share vocals, so you get a well rounded sound overall. Fans of the fathers of the jam scene, the Grateful Dead, will love pieces like "Forget Me Not", "Tumbling Down", and "Glimpse", three rootsier numbers with nice harmonies and catchy melodies, and the band gets as close to anthemic radio rock as you can get on the charged up "Walking In Circles".

Ton These is a mighty fine album from RAQ, and after three releases it seems like this band has nowhere else to go but up. With virtuoso musicianship, quality vocals, and fun songs, what's not to like here? If you dig a little funk, jazz, blues, fusion, hard rock, and prog mixed in with your jam sound (fans of Umphrey's McGee know what I'm talking about), this will be a most important addition to your CD collection.


Track Listing
1- Walking In Circles
2- Forget Me Not
3- Tumbling Down
4- Glimpse
5- Lush Of Lush
6- Bootch Magoo
7- Will Run
8- City Funk
9- One Of These Days
10- Said And Done
11- The Whistler
12- Botz

Added: September 21st 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: RAQ Website
Hits: 2582
Language: english

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