Tag Archives: Rah Rah

Inside the Big Release: Rah Rah Celebrating “Vessels” at The Horseshoe

Rah Rah

Friday night—Sticky floors and drunken hipsters set the scene. A roadie walks about the glittering stage tussling instruments around as the bands mingle in the crowd, seemingly it’s another night at the Horseshoe. Though, this night was laced with something special for the, not so, little prairie band called Rah Rah. Friday marked the release of their fourth album, Vessels and they brought along a few bands to celebrate.

All the way from Regina (seemingly in the 1980’s) Snake River played to the filling room, but they might have never known. So immersed in shredding guitars and the world they’ve created with their latest album, Songs from the Adjacent Room, each band member seemed to play to themselves.

Lead, Chris Sleightholm hung his head as he played. With his face covered in sweat and hair, it was clear he only broke away from his trance to push up his glasses when they inched too far down his nose. Guitarist, John De Gennaro bearly opened his eyes after taking his place on stage left. Somewhere in guitarist land he grooved along to the set rarely moving from his place. Lost in the rhythm, they still managed to draw the crowd to the front.

Fast Romantics @ The Horseshoe

Needing no introduction to the tavern, or the crowd, Fast Romantics burst onto stage with a set so good, you sort of forgot Rah Rah was following after (but just for a second, I swear!) I must say, Matthew Angus is a treat. He runs around the stage giving everyone exactly what they want. Especially that one guy, the one with the moustache, if you were there you know who I’m talking about. The guy who was front row, dancing bobbing, jumping while everyone else, not so subtly, moved away to give him room to just…be himself. He didn’t cry exactly, but there may have been some repressed tears deep down inside when Angus jumped from the stage to sing with the die-hard fan.

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But if you didn’t see that you were too busy looking at Kirty, who wasn’t taking a backseat. The newest member took her place next to Angus and proved once again not only can she hang with the boys, but also she can also rock the hell out of keys and a tambourine as well as shred some vocals. As if their talent wasn’t enough, Fast Romantics treated The Shoe to a song written just last week. American Love was sung in the graces of The Horseshoe and it did not disappoint.

And now! Drumroll please, for the band of the evening.

Rah Rah, ran onto the stage with smiles and was met with a love from the crowd so intense that everyone pressed against the edge to the back of the bar took part. Instantly jumping in with (in my opinion) most catching track off Vessels (Be Your Man), Marshall Burns took the mic first, failing to hide his excitement he bobbed along in his suit, sans tie. –Playing a total of 15 tracks to the crowd of fans, both old and new, the set-list showed that the band cared. it was definitely a well thought-out surprise,to heard songs from previous albums filling the set along with the new. A way to make sure all groups were fully satisfied by what they heard.  It was one of the happiest shows I’ve ever been to. The crowd was enveloped in dancing and the awkward cheerful charm the members unleashed. There was never a moment when they weren’t smiling or giving the moment everything they had and that was just the beginning.

“Now begins the dance portion of the evening,” Kristina Hedlund said setting her violin aside. The jumping began as she dominated the stage as, Chip Off The Heart, amped up the already enthralled venue. Taking the mic next Erin Passmore ditched her keyboard and the stage. Finding her way onto one of the amps for, Surgery, Passmore raised her hand to the ceiling and lost herself in the night.

The energy, the fun and the talent of the band made the release something to remember and proved those prairie-folk sure know how to party.

Check out a review of Vessels.

Reviewed: Rah Rah Vessels

Rah Rah—Vessels

Did you know that there are people living in all that space between Toronto and Vancouver? Not only that, but they’re making some tunes, some damn good ones. Repping us prairie folk, Rah Rah is busting back onto the scene after leaving fans with their previous treat, The Poet’s Dead, three long years ago. They have a Mother Mother-ish quality to them. That quirky indie dynamic, smart lyrics, danceable songs that shouldn’t be danceable and that underlying darkness to a campy song that when done just right is perfect. Mixed with the voices of the three vocalists Vanessa Benson, Marshell Burns and Erin Passmore the album offers a delight for everyone.

The album is something special, if you hadn’t heard of the band before hearing Vessels, you’ll instantly fall in love. Beginning with Be Your Man, Marshell Burns will have you planning on how to make him yours. The song is a catchy bunching of gooey indie but there is an overpowering sincerity heard in his voice that makes the song that makes it more than just a catchy song.

The star-track, Chip Off The Heart, is a great follow up. While be your man is a shadow of the band’s previous work, the second single is a shake for fans to look at the new direction the band has taken. Which merges nicely throughout their album. Vamping up guitar, and adding faster paced songs, Rah Rah’s new sound is still laced in what was so loveable about them before. Ten songs in we meet, Surgery, which may be the most out of ordinary thing Rah Rah has done, but is definitely one of the best on the album. It sounds like a drug trip. Bursting with aggression, it’s a rush of energy a song before the album is finished, offering one last surprise before the saccharine ending.

Who would have thought five prairie folk could jam this well.—take a listen and I doubt you’ll be disappointed.

September Reviews: Young Empires, The Arcs, Royal Headache and La Luz


Rah Rah—Vessels

Did you know that there are people living in all that space between Toronto and Vancouver? Not only that, but they’re making some tunes, some damn good ones. Repping us prairie folk, Rah Rah is busting back onto the scene after leaving fans with their previous treat, The Poet’s Dead, three long years ago. They have a Mother Mother-ish quality to them. That quirky indie dynamic, smart lyrics, danceable songs that shouldn’t be danceable and that underlying darkness to a campy song that when done just right is perfect. Mixed with the voices of the three vocalists Vanessa Benson, Marshell Burns and Erin Passmore the album offers a delight for everyone.

The album is something special, if you hadn’t heard of the band before hearing Vessels, you’ll instantly fall in love. Beginning with Be Your Man, Marshell Burns will have you planning on how to make him yours. The song is a catchy bunching of gooey indie but there is an overpowering sincerity heard in his voice that makes the song that makes it more than just a catchy song.

The star-track, Chip Off The Heart, is a great follow up. While be your man is a shadow of the band’s previous work, the second single is a shake for fans to look at the new direction the band has taken. Which merges nicely throughout their album. Vamping up guitar, and adding faster paced songs, Rah Rah’s new sound is still laced in what was so loveable about them before. Ten songs in we meet, Surgery, which may be the most out of ordinary thing Rah Rah has done, but is definitely one of the best on the album. It sounds like a drug trip. Bursting with aggression, it’s a rush of energy a song before the album is finished, offering one last surprise before the saccharine ending.

Who would have thought five prairie folk could jam this well.—take a listen and I doubt you’ll be disappointed.

*Just In* Young Empires—The Gates

If you didn’t like Young Empires, you will now. The boys from Toronto are proving themselves as ones to watch by showing a completely concentrated energy, sound, and direction that work perfectly. They no longer seem lost in the pairing of sounds and have seem to blossomed into some great emerging musicians. They took what was strong about them and made it their new sound. Ditching the fast pace indie rock heard in early tracks like, White Doves, and Wake All My Youth, the boys have now advanced their sound into a smooth balanced electronic rock.

The album starts off strong with the stunner track Mercy followed by the self-titled track. The two are the gems of the album, but the boys don’t let you down after those. Although the two tracks are definitely a draw in, there is a lot more to love about The Gates.


Royal Headache—High

Step back into the American rock scene with four Australian boys who were clearly far too young to have lived it. High, dwells in the sound of a hazy summer days spent amid allies, parking lots and open field, doing everything and doing nothing. There is a theme of escaping reality, with song titles like My Own Fantasy, High, and Another World which focus on submerging yourself in a comforting place where hypnotic guitar and hushed drums end the day. It’s impressive to say the least, for an album from 2015 to fit perfectly into something from the 70s rock prime.


*Just In* The Arcs – Yours, Dreamily

There is something smoother and more put together about the album. There are elements mirroring the strange pleasure of a carnival. A contrasting darkness laced throughout each sweetly sung track. There is something special about albums with an underlying tone that keeps you a little on edge; playing with layering, story-telling and odd elements grafted into tracks, like a woman moaning. You get the sense that something is building. From start to finish, there isn’t one track that is simply okay each is a new side of Auerbach.

It’s a collection of songs from a man trying to separate himself from his past achievements, an ode to what he does best and a safe risk. It’s hard not to instantly think of The Black Keys when Dan Auerbach’s name is mentioned. For 9 years he’s been the vocalist for the well-known blues-rock band with band mate, Pat Carney. But it’s not hard to get their distinguished sound out of your mind when you’re listening to The Arcs’ debut album, and that’s an achievement in itself. Because let’s be honest, if you love The Black Keys that’s why you’re listening to it in the first place. Sure, his voice is the same, but once it begins a strange warped voice fills the speakers. You check to see if it’s the right album, and as the second song, Outta My Mind, begins and the familiar voice overtakes you, a small comfort carries you to explore the rest of the album, which in the end…I preferred over The Black Keys.

La Luz—Weirdo Shrine

Because if you call an album Weirdo Shrine, “what are they going to say?” said the ladies of La luz. The album name was taken from a song lyric, paired against another title and won out because, really, how are you going to forget a name like Weirdo Shine? And let’s be honest, the word weirdo is something that is awfully familiar to all of us. The figurative La Luz shrine is filled with Beach Boys posters, guitar solos and a dark surf-rock by four quirky female bad-asses, Shana Cleveland – guitar, Marian Li Pino – drums Alice Sandahl – keyboard Lena Simon – bass. Cleveland’s voice is probably what a modern day siren would sound like. Like the girl herself, it’s a haunting, saccharine covered delight dipped in an authoritative undertone. Cleveland lures you in to the hypnotic trance, as her band-mates welcome you with soft hymns and equally as transcending melodies. They take you around a dark psychedelic utopia where you can loose yourself pretty easily and never be satisfied of.