Hurray for the Riff Raff have recorded their finest batch of songs of 2012 on “Look Out Mama”.
Following 2009’s “It Don’t Mean I Don’t Love You”, and 2010’s “Young Blood Blues”, this record does all of the things that a third record ought to do for an outfit like this. There is a joyful acknowledgment of roots and influences from first song to last, but also a firm sense of seeing those influences off and, armed to the teeth with all the musical provisions they’ve gathered along the way, forging forth into creative territories new.
Produced by Andrija Tokic (of Alabama Shakes notoriety), this record displays a much wider range of moods and styles than that which preceded it; it all feels very considered, balanced; it strikes one as being a very important record for the band, one that will impact hugely on what is yet to come.
Having spun this record repeatedly the past few days, two tracks in particular that stand out head and shoulders above the rest:
Firstly: Ode to John and Yoko, easily destined to become a (if not the) crowd favorite – a loving, simple, sweet salute to rock and roll’s favorite doomed couple that caps itself off beautifully with a wholly unexpected tribute coda.
Secondly: Riley, a sepia-tinted, stormy little piece about a jilted woman’s attempt to win back “her man”, only to find herself, at his new lover’s desperate insistence, unable to go through with it. There is a darkness, a great teeming angst, grumbling beneath the surface narrative here that is unlike anything I’ve heard them attempt before – a fine achievement.
I await their next record with great fervor.