CD Review of Ten Songs by Rafter

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Buy your copy from Rafter:
Ten Songs
starstarstarno starno star Label: Asthmatic Kitty Records
Released: 2006

So let me start off by saying that Zappa had it right when he said the Shaggs were better than the Beatles. If you are not familiar with the Shaggs, you need to check them out. They somehow manage to weave their out-of-tune instruments with the off-beat drums and their unique and haunting misplaced vocals in order to create a sound that is purely primal, pretty entertaining – and some might say – mildly retarded.

I say all of the above to say this. Rafter is not the Shaggs. In addition to the techniques he learned by listening to the Shaggs, he throws in some electronic static and noisy little bubble sounds – just in case you were not confused and annoyed enough.

Now don't get me wrong. My evening spent reviewing this record didn’t go as follows:

  1. Put in CD
  2. Sit on couch
  3. Crank up stereo
  4. Throw up in mouth after a poorly timed verp (and for those of you not in “the know”, a “verp” is part vomit, part burp. Gross.)
  5. Set self on fire (stupid firecrackers)
  6. Quickly run flaming to the CD player to rip the CD out.

Instead, it did not make me really want to do anything. I didn't want to take it out. I didn't want to get off the couch. I just kinda sat there and listened. The sounds bounced from my left speaker to my right and back again. It appears that an effort was made to turn this collection of songs into some long-form, sentimental, pseudo-lullaby. Which honestly, it kinda worked. But, it’s like grandma always said, “If you can’t make poop you shouldn’t just sit on the toilet all night.” What?

If you’re down w/ Kid 606 and that type of glitch stuff, you may be able to get into this record on some level. It’s kinda glitch/folk/pop. Unfortunately, that genre has been filled to the brim by 85,000 other MySpace bands with the same genre listing. Also, if you missed it at the top, this album is called Ten Songs. Dude, that’s what demos are called. Besides, after a quick internet search, I came across at least ten albums with the same name. After song titles like, “I Don’t Like to Get Down on My Knees”, you’d think the album title would have been something a touch more inventive. If you do more drugs than your friends, you’ll probably dig this record. Party on.

~Josh Preston