No amount of talent could overshadow the hype that Ra Ra Riot’s upcoming sophomore release, The Orchard has received on the indie-rock-obsessed blog circuit in the past month. But do not be put off by the blind faith pre-listening: these Syracuse, New York rockers do have something to offer. The Boy EP sounds similar to their previous works, but it also opens Ra Ra Riot up for something new. Opening track “Boy” leans easily in the direction of indie pop. The string section adds a level of fullness and comfort to their otherwise dichotomous sound in the traditional rock group formation, and singer Wes Miles’ wailing predictions of his future ghosts certainly make you wonder what journey you’ll be taken on. Next is Riot’s version of Sparks’ 1971 song “Saccharin and the War”. Even with strings added, it does not do much different from the original, and only experiments slightly with what is familiar to RRR. But it’s track three, “Keep It Quiet (Bear)”, that is perhaps the most exciting part of the EP. To be released as a full-band track on The Orchard in August, it will be interesting to witness the evolution of this one — from threadbare, lo-fi organ-and-vocal into whatever it is the quintet decides. And, in true teaser fashion, that’s all we get for now, until the full album comes out.
Ra Ra Riot