RAC – In.Hab.I.Tants (EP)
1.) Lotus Flower
2.) Seduction Groove
3.) Year. 5
5.) Valley of the Scum
7.) Valley of the Scum (Acoustic)
The Pier Album Rating:
Release Date: April 9th, 2011
Record Label: Juice on the Loose
AZ natives RAC have been creating music together since 2004. By winter 2005 RAC was recording their first full length album, Lost In Paradise, at Lock and Key Records scheduled for a May 2006 release. Over the next three years the band would make its first ventures out of the state, seeing CA and NM while continuing to play in AZ. The release of Heavy was in May 2009 as the group were also featured on various compilation albums including The Pier Comp Vol. 1 & the Sense Boardwear Compilations. While continuing to play shows in 2010, Thomas O’Brien (Vocals and Percussion) was a fitting addition of a fifth member after making some appearances on Heavy.
A variety of different styles of music is what makes up RAC’s In.Hab.I.Tants EP. A blend of smooth reggae rhythms, melodic surf and hard-edged punk all come together to form a fun listening experience. Although the different styles may make the album seem all over the place, each genre is fairly well presented.
The band’s volatility allows them to demonstrate their musical abilities through the different sounds. They are able to go from a feel good love song like Lotus Flower, with a nice steady reggae rhythm and catchy lyrics, to an upbeat surf piece like Seduction Groove, with its hypnotizing guitar solo by Derek Peper. The pace picks up even more with the albums punk song Year .5, reminiscent of the likes of NOFX and The Offspring.
It’s like one minute your body is swaying to the reggae melodies and the next you wanna jump up and down and scream. Of course after all the jumping around Year .5 generates, the very mellow Amsterdub comes on and you suddenly find yourself in a dub induced trance; in this track Matt Roberson (drums) and Taylor Hawkins (bass) deliver a nice drum and bass riddim to lose your mind to. The track Valley of the Scum is definitely my second favorite after Lotus Flower, it’s super catchy, fun and I found it pretty cool that they included the acoustic version; which you can find on Sense Boardwear’s Amplified: An Accoustic Collective. The track Flourish also found in The Pier Compilation Vol. 1, has an awesome guitar solo and a message that says “keep on keeping on.”
Like most reggae influenced albums, RAC touches upon different topics from love, down to the daily struggles. I would’ve like to have heard more in depth lyrics but they are a fun band and maybe that’s exactly what they are going for, though I sensed a hint of depth in some of their songs and I didn’t get enough of it. After listening to the EP several times I found a lack of cohesiveness to it. I do appreciate the fact that musically, RAC has the ability to integrate different styles into their repertoire and they all sound great but they could develop their sound a bit to become more distinct. They are talented musicians and I would love to see their production skills flourish.
Written & Reviewed by: Mariana Norcalchika Rojas
~Let the music take you higher
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