Monday, November 3, 2008


The Rascals
Status-Out as of 2008
Rating-2 Feathers

After the demise of The Little Flames, drummer Greg Mighall, bassist Joe Edwards, and guitarist Miles Kane created their own project, The Rascals. Hailing from the Wirral Peninsula, they created their debut Rascalize, the highly anticipated release after The Little Flames breakup. The Little Flames were known for their immensely catchy tunes and almost innovative style: Something bad must’ve happened along the way. Leading off with the title track ‘Rascalize’, words can’t properly describe what’s wrong with it. It’s lacking a proper structure, and generally, it’s a little dumb. With warnings of ‘All aboard the adventure!’, you been alerted that maybe this isn’t a journey you really want embark on. ‘Out Of Dreams’ gives you a semi-false sense of hope because it’s a very good song. It’s my favourite Rascals song, and definitely one of their better ones. When you first hear it, you think it’s a little repetitive, but give another go and it gets a whole lot better. ‘Bond Girl’ is alright. The instrument part is very nice, but the vocals don’t fit at all. They sound like he’s trying to sing ‘Wild Thing’ with different words whereas the rest of the band is doing something completely different. ‘The Glorified Collector’ sounds like a 60’s psychedelic pop tune gone a bit too trippy that ‘started with years full of drugs’. ‘Fear Invicted Into The Perfect Stranger’ is a lot better than the last two. It fits better with the flow. To give a frame of reference, it sounds heavily influenced by The Coral’s Magic and Medicine, which in my book, is a very good thing. ‘Does Your Husband Know That You’re On The Run?’ sounds a bit like ‘Out of Dreams’(s) alter ego as seen through ‘the hopes and the dreams and the rest will follow’ and in its darker sound. If they slowed it down a second or so, it’d be perfect and if they got rid of 50% of those really annoying guitar-odysseys, the song would be significantly better. ‘I’d Be Lying To You’ sounds like a deranged underground 60’s pop tune. So far, it’s one of the very few songs with real potential, a set structure, and proper hooks. It’s quite catchy, I must say. Another song that’s just as noticeable is ‘Freakbeat Phantom’. It’s a got a more mellow pace, that still moves, and it’s got just the right amount of hooks to make it stick out in a very good way. They’re musicianship is much more clear, as seen through Greg Mighall’s absolutely brilliant drumming. ‘People Watching’ starts out very promising, but quickly turns into a bad jam session with random drum-rolling and a guitar that doesn’t stay in one place. The lyrics aren’t exactly too genius either, with uninspiring social views such as ‘People watching is one of my favourite things to help pass the time’. Great. ‘Stockings to Suit’ starts out headache-y, but gets less wincey after about 30 seconds. The only part really worth mentioning is that Mile’s voice is shockingly melodic. ‘How Do I End This’ is really not that appealing. They managed to limit the overdrawn guitar odysseys, which is a plus, but it’s generally not ear-pleasant. Throughout, it seems like they need a little help figuring out how to end this. I’ve an idea! Switch the song. ‘I’ll Give You Sympathy’ show’s that they’ve truly saved the best for last. Just when you’re about to lose hope, you hear this semi-hopeful bombastic guitar riff that makes your ears perk up. Quickly it turn’s into a real basic, mellow sound that keeps with the basic feel of the rest of the song. If most listeners actually stayed listening at this point, their ears would’ve have received a very nice gift. As one can see, this album was quite the disappointment, to say the least. After hearing the few songs they offer as videos, you are deeply mislead to think that this album is going to be fantastic. They’ve all exhibited great potential to do great work as seen in Greg’s intricate drumming, Joe Edward’s galloping bass-lines, and Miles’s work in The Little Flames and The Last Shadow Puppets. Also, the songs that are good are really good, but the songs that are bad are just a bit too painful. Hopefully with more maturity, and a new sense of what actually goes, their next album will be the album that meets expectations. Until the day and the time, we’ll see them there.
"You know that feeling when you're 14 and you first get into tunes? Well we have that same feeling now. We're just really excited with music.”-Joe Edwards

Video for Out of Dreams

Recommendations: Out of Dreams, I'd Be Lying To You, Freakbeat Phantom, I'll Give You Sympathy
The Rascals Official Website
Note: Just letting you know, in the U.S. you can't go out to the store or iTunes to buy this album. You can only purchase it on the internet here. Similar deal with all Deltasonic bands. Annoying. I know. I hope you enjoy this review, I really wish I wrote a good review on it, but it was disappointing so I really couldn't. Also, I'm skipping the Oasis review for now so expect a Ra Ra Riot review sometime shortly, I promise. Enjoy!


Arnold Layne said...

Seems to me like they've got potential, but they're relying too much on Miles Kane's liverpool accent to make their sound unique. They've still got a long ways to go.

Double Hawk said...

Arnie: They have a unique sound regardless of Miles's voice, their sound is shaped by his guitar effects and Joe's galloping bass lines, but their was way too much jam session-dissonance for their own good. I agree, they do have a ways to go.