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Published: 2001/06/19
by Jesse Jarnow

Your Brain Will Change- Rana

Your Brain Will Change – Rana

self-released

"Your Brain Will Change", the debut EP release by New Jersey's Rana,
captures a capable and talented band suffering in a suburban malaise, loping
through lethargic grooves and showing signs of promise. The energy level and
overall production are the key problems and combine to make unexciting
listening. Ideologically, Rana are products of teen culture — their
principle charm being that they are well aware of their position. Lyrically,
they celebrate stoner revelations and rec room humor with an approach that
can only be compared to a less refined version of Ween.

With the exceptions of the punky Carson Daly and ironic arena parody
Backstage Pass, there is some lack of drive. For all their talk
of rocking and everything it entails, there is bloody little of it here, too
often falling back on an edgeless keyboard attack. When included, the
improvisation is succinct and direct, providing hints and allegations
instead of fully-formed realizations. It is here that the band is most
convincing. In the context of Mr. Metzger's guitar solos – such as during
the brief jam on the title track – Mr. Durant's Rhodes begins to make sense.

Rana has a distinctly original sound – rooted somewhere in their retrofitted
equipment – that leaves behind the flowery pseudo-psychedelia of many of
their peers, recognizing the advances stoner culture has made since the
1960s and '70s. Instead of celebrating days frolicking peppily in green
glades, Rana idealizes a different set of values — a kind of aimless
subversion within mainstream culture as opposed to an out-and-out escape.
The question remains, though, if the subversion is real and whether or not
the escape can be completed.

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