Raven King’s Eponymous Debut LP Covers A Range of Genres from Grunge to Acoustic Pop

From the first grungy chords and raspy vocals of the opening track, “Carnival,” from Rhode Island lo-fi alt. rock band Raven King’s debut album, it’s clear right from the start they don’t plan on being just another cookie-cutter rock band.

On “Carnival,” the music has a circular and bustling chord progression, and “feels like you’re amidst the whirling energy of a traveling carnival,” says guitarist and vocalist Gerrit Curti.

The vocals are sung falsetto by drummer and vocalist, Will Boisseau and the obvious Nirvana/grunge influence, with its familiar-sounding, chunky intro, is unmistakable.

But Raven King doesn’t just incorporate grunge riffs; they mark their own territory with a style that isn’t the same old canned alternative rock that plays on college radio stations around the country.

“Our music walks a fine line between being intense and mellow,” Curti contends. “No song sounds the same; each one offers an experience unique from the others.”

The band switches gears – as promised – on their lead single, “Drool,” delivering a sunny California folk/psych rock vibe, complete with cheery and harmonic choruses and instrumentation. This song demonstrates again the band’s diverse sound.

This is true again on the hard-driving rock track, “Lost Token” – a song reflective of the “nostalgia for the halcyon days of youth,” Curti says.

“It’s really our most muscle-headed song – from the Will’s growled vocals and the grungy pumped-up riffs, to the shredding guitar solo.” It’s definitely one of the standout tracks on the album.

The final track on the album, the anti-music, “Armilla,” is hard to miss. The composition, which is probably what it is more correctly referred to, is dreamy, experimental and strange, almost like a Salvador Dali painting set to sound, and unlike anything else on the album. And yet at the same time it is one of the most captivating recordings from the album.

According to Curti, the song is based on the short story of the same name, by Italo Calvino, which is about a magical forest of pipes.

“This is another odd track,” Curti asserts. “It’s a song about plumbing, so we used actual plumling – recordings of clanking copper pipes and running water.”

It’s not the only song on the album with interesting recording techniques. The intro to “Skins,” was recorded using an “odd handmade mechanical rainstick. ”

The track, “Within Reach,” features the vocals of bassist and vocalist, AJ Bucci. As he describes it, the song is “about the futility of one’s efforts; how sometimes we want something, and while pursuing it realize it’s harder than initially perceived, and therefore, we pursue something else instead.. it’s meant to be amusing. ”

The band says that the music for the song was originally written with a “nautical theme in mind,” with the rolling rhythm of the verse reminiscent of ocean waves against the hull of a boat until a spooky and psychedelic chorus.

Raven King was mixed with the award-winning Boston producer and multi-instrumentalist Benny Grotto in his Boston area studio.

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