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April 21, 2010

Don’t you just love it when things live up to their hype?

It has been a couple of weeks since I bought The Razorbax’ debut album Something to Believe In and I still love it just as much now as I did in the hours after I hit “purchase”.   The album is a near perfect mix of fighting spirit and wide-eyed despair, all of it delivered with complete honesty.  It will make you smile and it will stop your heart.

It begins with “Wake Up!  Wake Up!” a snarling, energetic encouragement to do something with your life.  Anything at all that doesn’t involve sitting around expecting gold to fall from the sky.  Even if you are waiting for a specific opportunity, couch surfing is no way to kill the time.  “I’ve got a head full of bad ideas and a pocket of hope/ and a mouthful of bloody words that come straight from the fucking heart!”  Ready, set, head for the atmosphere.

It only gets better (no pun intended) with “Better Place,” a song as gorgeous as it is haunting.  I especially like the second verse that goes “Please don’t make me leave the house tonight/ because the rain it stings my eyes/ just come around and take me away”.  Between that and “Couldn’t Wait” I’m not sure which is more amazing.  Just listen to the seamless blend of chords in the introduction.  These guys have a real gift for melody.

“Don’t” is probably the most surprising track.  It sounds like a mixture of all the other songs put together and somehow it works beautifully.  It manages to go everywhere without losing its train of thought.  “Picture on My Wall” is infectious.  It draws you in almost before you realize what’s happened, and it will leave you singing along to the chorus in your head for days.

The best part about Something to Believe In, though, is that it knows exactly how and when to quit.  There is no emotional hangover to make you scroll through every song in your collection looking for one to get rid of that weird electrical feeling.  The one that rests right between your shoulder blades, deliberately and insistently smarting.  Even with some sad lyrics, “Shot Down” is determined to be positive, like “Train In Vain”.  Nothing wrong with taking inspiration from The Clash.

I could listen to this album for hours.  Collectively I already have, and I’ll keep listening.  After a debut like this I can’t wait to see what the Razorbax do next.  Something incredible I’m sure.


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