Music News

The Raven and the Writing Desk

Although the Raven and the Writing Desk has created some richly textured songs that vary in style and tempo, when it comes to aesthetics, there's little about the group's new EP that's groundbreaking. There's no doubting the bandmembers' musicianship on songs like "Cutting the Lime," which impressively blends a Little Richard-style piano boogie with manic vocal scales, or "Headless in Spades," an epic that travels across such a wide musical landscape that it could be considered a mini-rock opera if it were any longer. But, ultimately, there's nothing new here. "Dirt" is a '90s time capsule almost criminally similar to Radiohead's "You," while the final three tracks maintain that sinister New Orleans burlesque flavor that has not been difficult to come by over the past few years. In the end, Scavenger Bonedale is a record that fellow musicians can enjoy for its technical complexity, but fans steeped in today's scene will have little use for it.

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Josiah Hesse