“WHEN DOES IT BECOME REAL” -ALBUM REVIEW
“Now is the time. A time you’ll look back on. A time you’ll adopt as inspiration. You will recollect this time, this moment, right now. Motivate yourself to want success. Overcome. Take over. The time is now.”
Wow, this is easily one of the greatest speeches to open a track since Primal Scream‘s Loaded.
Taken from the albums opening track “The Time is Now” and presented with his encapsulating Scottish accent, hugely charismatic frontman Jack Mcleod delivers some fine firm advice to the world, just before this record hits the ground. Oh and when it does, it doesn’t just hit the ground running, it hits the ground at 100mph and instantly puts you in a state of sheer rock n roll euphoria that just makes you give thanks to the gods of Rock n Roll for inventing this overdriven way of making all your worries disappear as soon as you hear the first riff.
The Rah’s debut album “When Does it Become Real” released in May 2021 and aided by a well supported Crowd Funder, is a fantastically crafted album which has gained huge praise from BBC 6 music’s Huw Stephens, BBC introducing’s Gemma Bradley and Radio 1’s indie maestro Jack Saunders, as well as the army of Fans they have gained through their astounding live sets. Me personally, I think this album is a Rock n Roll Masterpiece and by the time you hear the beautify haunting closing track “Fuel to the Fire” I’m sure many of you will agree.
Hailing from the small yet wonderfully titled Scottish fishing town of Prestonpans , situated about 8 miles east of Edinburgh and having supported the likes of The View and the Fratellis, This Five Piece Rock n Roll outfit ,who are no stranger to the music scene, have experience, passion, talent and drive. And they can without doubt deliver a belter of an album full of bangers.
1. The Time Is Now.
Kicking off the album with a fantastically ferocious pace, previous single and firm fan favourite “The time is now” has everything you want and more. Pounding drums and a guitar riff that wouldn’t be out of place on the Cults “she sells sanctuary. Alongside this add Mcleod’s motivational speech and before you know it the hairs on the back of your neck have started a mosh pit.
When the vocal hits your engaged on every word, superb delivery with a voice that reminds me of The Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan blended with, dare i say, the mighty Liam himself. (I’m aware the two hate each other but they both do have two of the greatest voices in rock n roll history) The track is quite simply a belter, with an air of Kasabian in the chorus and massive Foo Fighters ending the time is defiantly now to buy this record and catch this band live.
2. Our Design
Up next is the brand new single “Our Design” put out as a double release with “If You Never Try (you’ll never know) and released on 4th June 2021. This track starts like a little visit to Radiohead’s classic “High and Dry” but within 12 seconds transports you to a Sterophonics show. Another massive track, again right off the bat Mcleod has you engrossed with the message you’re about to hear. A very firm lyrical style which is almost like we’re being sung the advice we all need to always pick ourselves up and carry on. Full of motivation and melody the lyric “Nobody will do it for you” is set to inspire the listener to find that confidence which is inside us all.
3. Land of the Dreamers
The third track “Land of the Dreamers” leads in with almost Foals like staccato’d guitar and distant vocal. Then we’re hit with pounding drums that ease off into a solid groove which makes you want to be in a felid bouncing with thousands of like minded people. Again i can hear a Kasabian influence with its energy and crowd pleasing hooks. The production and structure is absolutely spot on. Defiantly a hands in the air festival banger with depth. “So come on, come back from the land of the dreamers” and get on board this bands bus.
4. If you never Try (you’ll Never Know)
From the Beatles to BRMC. Ok here it is, this is a Monster of a Rock n Roll Record. This track is a sure fire reason why I love this band. Hats off to drummer Neale Gray, Flawless tom work that beats alongside Lee Browns solid Fuzz Bass, together they drive this record at its core. The elegant guitar work of Jordan McIntrye and Jack Miller mix perfectly to add the rock n roll clout every great track needs. Vocalist Jack Mcleod delivers another spot on performance and the beautify placed backing vocals would make you think this was recorded at Abbey Road. “If you never try (you never know)” has anthem written all over it and this band can stand their own on any sized stage with belters like this track.
5. Sweet Talker
Next up we have the wonderfully indie-esq “Sweet Talker”. Still in keeping with the energy of the record but with a more dreamy side, this track tells the age old story of ego within relationships with a fantastic hooky chorus and brilliant lyrics such as “Where is your pride? We all know, its sitting on the woodwork with your ego” This track has an almost Killers feel at points but one thing is for sure The Rah’s can write bloody good songs.
6. Watch the World
The pace slows right down with this laid back acoustic number. “Watch the World” is a perfectly written love song, not your average boy meets girl love song but a song about all the things we love in the world. The message in this number is simple, we should all take a moment to appreciate the world we live in and never be to quick to dismiss the little things. Accompanied by a perfectly placed string section this is quite simply a beautiful song. So stop for a moment, take a deep breath, look around you, smile and watch the world while listening to this track.
Continuing the same relaxed theme “Thoughts” starts off with piano and Vocal, somewhat tricking the listener into thinking this is a well presented ballad. As the track develops a distant bass drum builds the momentum, with some snappy snare work the movement has begun and this track lifts into a wonderfully crafted track. Stunning Guitar along with a clear and precise vocal melody, this number builds into very memorable piece of fine songwriting.
8. She’s Not
Back in with a bang “She’s Not” doesn’t waste any time in hitting us with more BRMC style gritty fuzzy rock n roll. Filled will ace big muff peddled guitar and bass riffs along with those pounding drums and Rolling stones “whoo-hoo” backing vocals, this track makes me want to jump on a Harley and hang out with a biker gang. I honestly can’t wait to catch all these tracks live. The energy is outstanding.
Up next we have “Crave” starting off with a smart drum roll that leads into an indie influenced 90’s britpop style belter. I can hear everyone from James to the Longpigs in this one. The guitar work really stands out on this record, a perfectly placed vortex of swirling riffs and fuzz. The multi layered vocals gives us another anthemic chorus with the extremely catchy line of “and it feels right, when you crave at night for more”.
10. Take It All In
A stomper, heavy licks, pounding drums, those Kasabian influences are back with this one. I can imagine this tune whipping up audiences into a frenzy and packed crowds jumping in unison with beers raining down all over them. Yet another perfect rock n roll tune but what I love about this track is how it leads perfectly into the closing number.
11. Fuel To The Fire
Every great album needs a closing track that really gets inside your soul, “Fuel To The Fire” is exactly that track. The beautiful echoed piano lays down the perfect musical backing to this haunting ballad. This track has a very strong clear message “How can violence be the answer, your adding fuel to the fire”. Sung with absolute perfection and written straight from the heart this is a track that gets better and deeper the more you listen, by the time the bagpipes, Yes bagpipes kicks in if your not thinking back on a lost love or reflecting on past woes then you have a heart of stone. This track will make even the hardest of geezers shed a little tear. this track is a masterpiece and this album is an absolute triumph for The Rah’s.
Words by JIM DOLAN for The Songbird HQ