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- Shake Down by Raw Thrills
8/10 Li'l Biz Staff review, 02 June 2011
Got a few bits in from Japanese label Sixteen Tambourines this week with this Raw Thrills LP looking like the best of the bunch. Raw Thrills is Zak of Greatest Hits kicking out post everything basement party jams assisted by pizza eating hypnagogic dudes and cheap recording gear. I reckon there's a fair amount of guest activity going on here and the presence of James Ferraro and Sam Mehran are pretty much guaranteed. Musically it flips between classic Beach Boys influenced indie pop and surf to '80s synth classical-isms without a hint of irony. For me, this runs parallel with recent LPs by both Ferraro and Mehran in the sense that Zak is experimenting with the fundamentals of classic pop structure and melody (as opposed to just experimenting full stop) with reckless abandon. Outsider '80s synth gem 'Sonia' is an absolutely perfect example of pop genius applied with minimal fuss and 'Both Ways' mutates the vocal melody from 'Time After Time' into something oddly familiar yet totally left-field. The Beach Boys-esque tracks don't fare as well against these wilder arrangements and the familiarity with the Greatest Hits approach to making records but they are still valuable contributions that add variety to an already tasty treat. Definitely worth a listen.
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