Patti Smith once wrote,
"The perfect noise exists between everything and nothing".
Some bands are everything: the naked object, they rock in capital
letters according to the most recent, successful examples in their
field. They are all flash pots, angst and compression. At the other
extreme bands exist as nothing: living science projects that embrace
calculation over result, they remain forever all math and no magic.
The Raymond Brake existed precariously in between these two extremes.
They did not state facts or obscure them with detail, they inferred.
At their best they implied or divined and you, as listener, did
the work to meet them in the middle at the perfect noise.
Hailing from Greensboro, NC, the Raymond Brake was in a unique position
at a remarkable time. With access to the "young rock" that was pouring
out of nearby Chapel Hill from Superchunk, Polvo and Archers of
Loaf, you might think that they'd just have become another indie
rock band. But they didn't fall into such an easy trap. Greensboro
is a small town, and the Raymond Brake boys wrote incredibly complicated
songs that showed their influences but mimicked none. They didn't
have the luxury of being caught up and brought down as the poster
children of any useless hypothetical movement. They didn't sound
like another local older band that kicked ass...because there wasn't
Their other undeniable asset: they weren't afraid of melody. Hey,
don't worry. These boys grew up on the best of American math rock...Grifters,
Polvo, Sonic Youth, even the "P"-word. If there's a strange tuning
or rythym in the world they tried it, but that doesn't mean you
should get out your calculators. Melody is the glue in a Raymond
Brake song and just because "sing" has become a four letter word
in most of the rest of the indie-world, but that doesn't mean you
won't find it here. The extremes of both musical innovation and
simple melody co-exist with genuine depth but in a surprisingly
catchy way. This is the very essence of great songwriting. The perfect
mixture of freshness and familiarity.
When the Raymond Brake recorded these releases, they were all barely
old enough to get in the venues they were playing. Touring was fun,
recording was fun, playing was fun, and it shows all over their
music. It's not cuddle-core mind you... there's nothing naive or
twee about The Raymond Brake. But just the same, they're not punching
the rock-n-roll clock. These boys wrote great music and they enjoyed