The Raker EP
(obscure Baton Rouge Record label)
So, we've been big fans of Baton Rouge's The Rakers for a while. Their 2016 LP Regina was one of the years' best. Essential even, All well-informed, bent out of shape soaking southern gothic, seriously wrung out into a hip flask of idiosyncratic Jim Jonesian hits.
We're thrilled then that they've gotten 2018 underway straightaway with the eponymously titled, straight up, six song rock'n'roll EP. We like the no chaff aspect of EP's, I'm not saying that's the case here, but in many instances, tons of tape could and should just end up unheralded on the cutting room floor and that'd be a good thing for everyone. On this outing the Rakers are bolstered by pals David Hinson, cello; Margaret Fowler and Charlotte Smith, vocals.
The Rakers rocks in a so supremely well-paced manner, so... If you move like at lickety-split speed, the version of the EP you'll be enjoying could be the 10" vinyl copy which is available soon.
What are you getting for your shilling? You'll get those Moon Shadow Blondes - Tina and Marie, sisters working at their daddy's favorite topless bar, they liked the money, they liked the attention and they liked the work. All in all turns out to be not as awkward as it seems. That's typical of the darkness and commonplace complexity of the world the Rakers inhabit.
The EP opens with Run Like The Devil, an everyday tall tale of everyday life in Redneckville with a minimal two note I think, blues harp and maximal gang member chorus and bricks threw through windscreens. It is its own brick through your windscreen.
In some respects the fulcrum of the EP is the gaudy, grungy quagmire underfoot of the unrestrained, You Killed My Love - with great, soaring, heartfelt, and perfectly pitched vocal histrionics over incredible guitars, swirling from distortion to sweet tremolo.
"You killed my love,
Even though I never cried,
Even when you weren't satisfied,
With an asshole like me..."
Unforgettable from first listen, the Rakers have alchemized an EP as disturbing as an internal monologue on a drizzly night on Jamieson's in Bearwood gets. I'm gonna have to listen all over again to try to find out how they did it.
Ancient Champion only ever communicates with us online so, so much we don't know. Proud Citizen of Nowhere is the response when we ask where you from? We do know the Ancient Champion is releasing a new single each month of 2018. Instrumental music characterised as easy listening for difficult people. And a collection of extremely short stories, Six Stories About Motoring Nowhere as part of the SideCartel's Sextet series. More info at AncientChampion.com