Ra Ra Riot
Published: Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 02:02
Ra Ra Riot’s latest release, Beta Love, could be pigeonholed into a myriad of genres including: alt rock, indie rock, or progressive. But ultimately it’s the band’s versatile artistry that makes the album work.
Beta Love is an experimentation of instrumentals. While most of the instrumentation is synthesized and sprinkled with jingled keys, the traditional musicianship still shines through.
The guitar rifts are purposefully manipulated and don’t over-saturate the eardrums with a range of mind-melting frequencies. Muted kick drums provide for a soft, resonating, underbelly beat in tracks like “Wilderness” and “What I Do For U.”
A unique quirk the band brings to its characteristically indie vocals is a dash of Syracuse and East coast flavor. Even the back up vocals could be compared to a typical R&B chorus.
The namesake track, “Beta Love,” is an airy, light ballad boasting almost soul-singer-like falsetto vocals. The chorus repetition of, “I will find my Beta Love,” is entrancing and irresistibly catchy and captivating.
Unfortunately with such an array of instrumental styling, the transitions between songs occasionally clash. One moment Ra Ra Riot is settling the nerves with a synthesized violin, and four beats later startle the ears with a raucous drum cadence.
Beta Love adds a hyper-synthesized element to Ra Ra Riot’s previous sound. However, the sheer diversity of sounds that the band produces makes the album a smooth, dynamic listen and easy to put on repeat.