Raven Beats Crow - Zola Budd EP - Singles - Reviews - Soundblab

Raven Beats Crow - Zola Budd EP

by Simon Sandison Rating:7 Release Date:2010-11-22

Raven Beats Crow are one of many bands renowned for their visually arresting live presence, and the on-stage cues they take from bands like The Super Furry Animals and Gorillaz carry through into their first selection of new songs since last year. The aural echoes of the former are hardly surprising given that the two share a producer, and the influence is immediately obvious in the opening track 'Escalator' as an eerie and expansive quality to the backing is overlaid with an almost cheerful, but occasionally creepy, melody. The vocals really come close to spoiling the track though, as Raven Beats Crow shoot for The Fall but fall woefully short.

It's not a mistake that is repeated, as the rest of the Zola Budd EP's vocals are vocoded to within an inch of their life, and as such seem much more in keeping with the pleasantly cheerful tone of the band, who recall the disco-pop of Pulp in a number of ways. In fact, the riff from 'Dead.com' sounds like it owes more that a little to 'Disco 2000'. Equally, the outright and unapologetic fun of 'Chrome Yellow' and its refusal to take itself or its influences seriously means that the EP comes to an end leaving smile on your face in spite of the considerable lowlights that are 'Escalator' and 'So Long Pogo'. Far and away the most impressive song here is 'S.U.N.' - it sweeps and jingles on its way to evoking a summer that, as frost spreads and leaves continue to crunch, is fondly remembered.

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