Shed Tech – Raq
Let’s face it: there are too many bands out there that sound like Phish.
Unfortunately for us, many of these musicians don’t even try to disguise it,
is the case with Raq.
I know this sounds harsh. After all, it is a sizable accomplishment to be
able to pull off the music of a band as groundbreaking as the one mentioned
above. It is not to say that Raq are bad musicians, but their inspiration
over their music a little too hard. Drummer Greg Stukey and bassist Jay
Burwick interweave their music in demonic knots, allowing guitarist Chris
Michetti and keyboardist Marc Scortino to soar above the bottom end. Sound
The first tune on the record is entitled "Time Bomb". The first time I heard
it, I began to sing "Fluffhead was a man…" Of course, the tune has its own
lyrics, most of which are flat and predictable. The vocals are nasal and
"There When I Land" is a tremendous improvement both musically and vocally.
The lyrics suggest the aspirations of every guitar-slinging youngster in
America: "Where I float down to the ground and stand up to the sound of
applause." The song features a well composed end section that has ever
ascending guitar notes climbing up the fretboard before the finale. The
piece is interesting to listen to, but – once again – there is the
mark of Phish imprinted on each note.
"Tunnel Vision" is a funky rocker that talks about waiting for the CBT. It
Raq’s most unique sounding track, mostly because they keep it grounded in
and roll and stay within their own realm of possibility. It proves the
potential of their musical skills as it bounces into a dreamy chorus
reminiscent of Steely Dan before it wanders back into the groove. It is
through this song that we hear Scortino’s skills on the boards.
Raq is not a bad band. Shed Tech is not a bad record. The problem is
they fail to take their musical prowess above and beyond the scope of their
inspiration. This album is evidence of the glut of jambands that are
capable, but not quite tall enough to go on the really scary rides.