Review Summary: The band knows how to work together and create great music.
A few years ago, I was browsing through itunes and saw that the "free single of the week" was a band from Regina, Canada named Rah Rah. The unique album cover was intriguing to me and I though "hey why not? it is free after all." Little did I know what I was getting myself into. The song was called "Duet for Emmylou and the Grievous Angel" and impressed me so much that I just had to purchase the album and see what these guys were all about.
Diverse, melodic and engaging throughout, it became very clear to me as each song passed that 'Going Steady' is an album that deserves a bit more attention than a “free single of the week” can give. Perhaps it is the upbeat and ridiculous fun of “Tentacles,” the contemplative and alluring slow-burn of “Castles,” or the anthemic chanting of “Cuba/Peru” there’s a lot to like on 'Going Steady.' Just when you think you’ve got the album pegged as an upbeat and explosive indie rock extravaganza (which wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing) they throw in a curve-ball like the country-style tune of “My Guarantee” to keep you on your toes. Furthermore, the album is able to stay diverse without sacrificing an overall sense of identity. Throughout the album there's a strong sense of intensity despite the fact that on my first listen, it seemed like a laid-back "jam session." The Arcade Fire
influences seep into many of the songs but not so much that it takes away from the originality and creativity displayed on 'Going Steady.'
The lyrics on the album are unlike anything I have ever heard before, many of them coming across not only as adventurous but down-right odd. My personal favourite comes from the strange love/hate song "'Duet for Emmylou and the Grievous Angel."
It is fashionable
To be single
In big cities
But not in small towns
I fell in love
With her frown
"Fuck Nafta" is a political tune and is quite cathartic in nature, and their use of strings and other ethereal instruments give the track that higher plain that cannot be reached by most bands. "Winter Sun," a broody song that features some wonderfully layered vocals, but what else can you expect from five vocalists? "Our Hearts Don’t Match Up" is painfully honest and realistic.
For fans of the alt/indie genre all together, you owe 'Rah Rah' a listen. It's like going through a history of the genre in it's entirety. Not bad coming from an area that Winnipeg natives have labeled "the crotch of the west."