Rachmanite – S/T – CDEP 2008
I have to admit on paper when I first heard about this band I was pretty wary. A two piece instrumental band with guitar and drums. If I’m completely honest I was fully expecting this to be a half formed load of shit. Well put my words on a plate and serve it up with a big slice of humble pie as I’m about to chow down and declare this 4 track offering an understated masterpiece!!!
There are a lot of bands out there who are messing with the traditionally accepted format of a rock band, some work and some don’t but most will seek to embellish their studio work with extra instrumentation and overdubs. Rachmanite have succeeded in creating a sound using the most basic of set-ups that works in its own right creating a recording that embraces the feel of a no messing live recording and allows the songs to stand proud.
Opening track “Good Night Sleep Tight” is probably the most conventionally “rock” sounding tune on offer here betraying an almost stoner vibe with its loose rolling groove without ever falling into the stoner rock camp.
“Happy Ending” heads into slightly more abstract territory with a beautiful driving chordal verse (if these songs have verses) that gives way to some granite thick prolapse inducing stabs. How two people can create a noise this heavy I don’t know, I’m sure I felt my eyeballs shaking!!! These guys then start to really fuck with things by throwing in some off the wall discordant grooves that bring to mind prime “Dimension Hatross” era Voivod.
Track three, confusingly (or perhaps bloody mindedly) titled “First” moves things back towards a straighter heavier vibe with a nice chunky riff before “Stockholm” presents itself as the most diverse and creative tune on offer. This track shows that the band aren’t afraid to strip themselves naked and stand with their balls out as it builds from a fragile, almost imperceptible lone guitar intro into another riff fest that throws in some challenging time signatures to raise the eyebrows.
Production wise, without the restraints of trying to mix in bass and vocals, this is spot on. The drums sound as though they’ve been set up in a nice big room and Podge has been given free reign to beat the shit out of them till his hearts content. Tom’s guitars frankly make me jealous!!! The sound is rich and thick but with a clarity that allows the subtleties of his playing to ring out. I don’t know what amps he’s using but whoever it is should offer an endorsement as the tone here is as good an advert as they could get!!!
I really don’t know how to categorise this band as it’s pretty well outside my usual field of listening…it’s heavy but it isn’t metal, it’s too heavy for the dreary post rock crowd, it has a groove and plenty of fuzz but it sure ain’t stoner, it’s bleak in places but it ain’t doom…fuck it I give up, it’s just Rachmanite!!! I do have one concern and that is how well this stripped down approach could be sustained over a full album or for a full 45 minute live set but I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. On the strength of these four tracks though, I can’t fault them.
Label: Self Released
Scribed by: Ollie Stygall