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Raw - From The First Glass To The Grave

Raw
From The First Glass To The Grave
by Garrett Davis at 30 January 2017, 8:21 AM

Canadian band RAW have a fantastic and unique concept that I never would have though would work as well as it does. Serving as a creative outlet for its members, RAW is the perfect name for the open wound of emotional content on display. Taking the brutally honest pain of Delta blues and mixing it with the nihilistic pain of Black Metal – whilst throwing in elements of Country and Psychadelic Rock - RAW defies genres and flies in the face of convention. The album title “From the First Glass to the Grave” likely comes from a piece of propaganda from the American temperance movement that bares an image detailing a man’s first drink and all the steps of his addiction and its effect on his family until it finally put him in an early grave.

Death Waltz” is appropriately slow and melancholic, like a funeral dirge playing over haunting sounds of the blowing wind. The music is at first a lament of pain and broken honesty that leaps to pure anger and passionate howls which hurt my throat just listening to them. “Chopped ‘em Up”is a slow journey through to the deep south led by some good ole’ boys from the great white north; I have to admit that I never would have expected the amount of southern soul infused into every note.

Slowly but Surely” brings a bit more power, turning up the guitars and letting them be the focal point, speaking volumes with barely a word; if a picture is worth a thousand words, a chord must be worth twice that. “I’m a Shell (But I’m Your Man)” has a beautifully bittersweet melancholy to it that is nothing short of gut wrenching; there is a sense of lost love and soul-crushing guilt that just cannot be denied. The title track then brings it all to a close with a 15 minute epic journey.

The instrumental half of the album is emotionally charged, playing Blues riffs with the electricity and power of Metal lends a sense of defiance to the tone that compliments and elevates it beyond what either style produces on its own. The vocals have a wide range of intensity, from soft crooning to gruff howls of pain that explore the harsh side of humanity in stark relief. There is so much to say about RAW and their unique approach to musical expression, but it has to be heard so check out the link below and get ready for a trip down south from all the way up north.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
  1. Death Waltz
  2. Chepped 'Em Up
  3. Slowly but Surely
  4. I'm a Shell (But I'm Your Man)
  5. Mine
  6. From the First Glass to the Grave
Lineup:
Taylor “Philly Joe Cheesesteak” Graw - drums
Will “Thicksaw” Wylie – Vocals, Guitar
Roger “Skinnyback” LeBlanc – Vocals, Guitar
Record Label: Aural Music
     


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