The Phoenix Network:
 
 
About  |  Advertise
Adult  |  Blogs  |  In Pictures
 

High-powered hybrid

Roz Raskin and the Rice Cakes set sail on  The Friend Ship
By CHRIS CONTI  |  August 18, 2009

rice main

KITCHEN KLATCH Snack time for the Rice Cakes.


"It's pretty much impossible for us to have a predictable sound," said Rosalind Raskin earlier this week while discussing The Friend Ship (Moose Proof Records), the full-length debut from Roz Raskin and the Rice Cakes (MySpace.com/RozRaskin). "We have always had a hard time describing the sound. It's difficult to describe because we each come from a very different musical background." Casey Belisle (drums) and brand-new Rice Cake Justin Foster (bass) share a fondness for jazz and metal, while Raskin (rocking the electric piano) "always played folk and jazz and infused that into a rock sound."

The uniquely enticing songs on The Friend Ship are further brought to life in their live show, as witnessed at a packed AS220 last month when Raskin & the Rice Cakes opened for politically-charged indie-punk act Prayers For Atheists. Raskin had plenty of fans on hand, who sang along to tracks from their 2008 debut EP The Crunch and savored the new songs. Raskin boasts enough charisma and charm to lure fans of any genre, and their CD release show lineup is a testament to her hybrid sound. Electro-loons Math the Band, Prayers For Atheists, and indie-rock locals Formal Action have all signed on. Formal Action frontman Matt Decosta is one of the founders of upstart local label Moose Proof Records, and Raskin commended Decosta, who recorded, mixed, and mastered The Friends Ship himself.

A pair of jazzy, midtempo standouts, "We Search for Violent Hills" and "Boys and Girls," open the album. "I'm not sorry that you left/I'm just sorry that I stayed," Raskin croons on the latter through a hazy drawl before snapping back to life with her big pipes in the finale. She shines on the unnerving third track "The Beating": "You better soundproof every fucking room so no one hears the screams," she warns, and acknowledged the song as one of her favorites on the album.

" 'The Beating' is a really heavy track," Raskin said. "That song is about a good friend of mine who suffered through a very rough childhood and somehow came out of it a very strong and caring person."

Raskin flexes her big vocals on "Hear My Voice" and the closing "Tourist Attraction." Her heartfelt lyrics are well-complemented by Belisle's racket behind the kit throughout. I asked Raskin about her songwriting technique.

"There is no real formula," she said. "Songwriting has always been extremely spastic for me. Sometimes I'll be in the car or in the shower and think of melodies or lyrics."

After checking out a pink-haired Raskin kicking out a damn-fine acoustic cover of Rihanna's "Umbrella" on YouTube, I asked if she would dig that out of the archives for the upcoming East Coast tour.

"I originally put that song up on YouTube just because," she recalled. "Damn, we used to play it live all the time. It's one of those songs everyone loves and hates at the same time."

The ever-passionate Jared Paul, lead vocalist for Prayers For Atheists, gladly weighed in via email this week from Phoenix, AZ, while touring behind their excellent self-titled debut:

1  |  2  |   next >
Related: Creative loafing, Review: California Smile | Roof Came Off House, Gang of six, More more >
  Topics: New England Music News , Entertainment, Internet, Casey Belisle,  More more >
| More


[ 07/23 ]   "Graphic Design: Now in Production,"  @ RISD Museum
ARTICLES BY CHRIS CONTI
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   STRAIGHT OUTTA AQUIDNECK  |  July 16, 2014
    In the words of Freddie Black on the leadoff banger “Shut ’Em Down”: “If you didn’t know before, now you know it now.”
  •   OFF THE COUCH: SHORTS 'N' CAKES  |  July 16, 2014
    And the Pete Theroux Memorial Fest
  •   MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS  |  July 09, 2014
    If we could bestow a RI Music Community Achievement Award to anyone around here, I wouldn’t hesitate to crown Davey Moore the people’s champ.
  •   NOW THIS IS A PARTY!  |  July 02, 2014
    The 15th annual LibertyFest bash has outgrown its Smith Hill roots and will relocate to Dusk, and hot-damn, it’s a doozy.
  •   OFF THE COUCH: MUSICAL FIREWORKS  |  July 02, 2014
    Plus, an early bird rager at Firehouse 13

 See all articles by: CHRIS CONTI



  |  Sign In  |  Register
 
thePhoenix.com:
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
TODAY'S FEATURED ADVERTISERS
Copyright © 2014 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group