Rah Rah - Little Poems

Rah Rah’s Facebook page lists the group’s influences in the form of a rhetorical question: “What would Neil Young do?” It paints a very clear target for the group, albeit one held rather high. Young, of course, is perhaps the most influential Canadian musician of all time. Rah Rah are a young six-piece based in the capital of Saskatchewan. To compare the two would be completely unfair, but it would be difficult to argue they don’t share similarities.

Little Poems gets straight to the chase, with Marshall Burns’ vocal – lyrics lamenting the lack of true love in a relationship plagued by drink – laid over the top of a slow, punctuated drum beat, a crunchy guitar and a droning organ. Burns’ anguish is portrayed well through his havering voice, and he carries a distinctly folky twang in the pocket of his Canadian accentuation. Refreshingly, the thought behind this song is far from minced: “I’m poor, drunk, scared of being alone, she loves her fun and gettin’ stoned.” Erin Passmore’s counter-vocal, in a high, almost piercing range, provides a second side to what is ultimately a well-woven story.

Musically, the track isn’t revolutionary - it sounds fairly grungy and under-produced, as though it were being performed as backing music in the corner of a bar. That’s not to say the composition is lazy. They pull it off well: the layering is superb and overall it sounds tight and together throughout – not an easy feat for a group of six members. The style indicates a band who know their market; the overall tone is too lo-fi to appease a mainstream audience, but avid followers will know what they’re in for after two records. For those among them, this single should not disappoint.

Little Poems isn’t exactly something Mr Young would put his name to; it’s much too youthful, too spritely, and even the melancholy words on top can’t suck the fun out of the music.  While it brings nothing new to the table, what it does bring is definitely worthy of a spin.

Little Poems is available to purchase as a 7” from the band’s website, via Hidden Pony.

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