A little bit of everything
The commercial success and exposure of Avant Pop band Ra Ra Riot has primed their talents for more sophisticated musical projects — sans the monetary motivation. Ra Ra Riot’s creative liberty has forged an ensemble of multifaceted musicians that refurbish indie rock with ease. Vocalist Wes Miles, bassist Mathieu Santos, guitarist Milo Bonacci, violinist Rebecca Zeller and drummer Kenny Bernard perfectly curate their sound in their latest release — and now it’s time to play your part. Listen.
Superbloom opens with “Flowers” that blossoms with the perfect sound of summer. Follow-up track “Bad to Worse” further pries open the album for a full glimpse at the ethereal expertise and production precision of Ra Ra Riot’s fifth studio album. First released as a single on August 2nd, “Belladonna” lingers with emotive lyrics that are eventually tuned out by French-speaking backtrack vocals. Although neither transcendent in meaning nor sound, “Belladonna” does capture the band’s cross-genre dance-punk sound.
Notable tracks that’ll earn your listen are “Endless Pain Endless Joy” and “Bitter Conversation,” each distinct with fine-tuned production quality. A hard rock backtrack loops endlessly in the forefront of “Endless Pain Endless Joy” while punk-ish vocals plead with angst and bleed with melodic subtlety. Radio-playable “Bitter Conversation” trades in originality for a dance rhythm, but this risk of reputation pays off.
Superbloom is fitting for summer’s end. Bittersweet. The album is a unique and detailed portrait of summer. Reeling in this tangible mood, “This Time of the Year” plays with electronic reggae beats and octave-hopping pop vocals. The anthem-like soundscape of “Check for Daniel” sounds like a post-punk hit but with melodic pop touches.
It’s nice to see Ra Ra Riot take a pause from the riot and breathe a little air into pop-rock ballads like “Gimme Time” and “Backroads. Both tracks are nursed with vocal adornments and minimal background noise. But of course, Superbloom treads lightly into album-overtime with closing track “An Accident.” The band winds down with an appraisal of truth, as Zeller and Bonacci play treble while metronome-drumming sew the album shut. In just under 30 minutes, the album ties together twelve energetic songs with perfect momentum.