Updated: Feb 4
Release Date: February 2, 2023
Genre: Grunge, Alternative Rock, Punk Rock
Label: Independent Hailing out of Santa Cruz, California, Raue is a two-piece rock outfit poised to revive the sonic force that drove the '90s alternative rock and grunge scene. The band comprises eighteen-year-old vocalist and guitarist Paige Kalenian and seventeen-year-old drummer and bassist Jax Huckle. The duo is back and has teamed up with the iconic skate brand Volvom for the release of their newest two-track EP, KARMA!! Following a successful live show at Volcom's headquarters, Raue and Volcom are launching a campaign to promote the upcoming release of Volcom's new line of women's skate pants. Additionally, a music video for the EP's title track, "Karma," was recently shot on location at Volcom's skatepark. KARMA!! is the follow-up to their self-titled album, Raue (2021) -which featured a twelve-song tracklist, and their AWAL Records released four-track EP, Erase & Rewind (2022).
Kalenian writes and plays everything melodic on the duo's songs, while Huckle fills in with the drums and bass, resulting in a sound equivalent to a five-piece band. Unconventionally -and without the use of anyone but themselves- they pull off their full sound live by triggering the instruments they aren't physically playing. Huckle drums while simultaneously playing the bass lines by triggering ten to twenty-second-long samples sourced from the original studio recordings. Kalenian plays guitar and sings while kicking off the rest of the instruments heard in their songs via a pedal effect board. They don't play with backing tracks, nor do they play to a click. It has resulted in Raue becoming quite known for their high-energy live shows. Additionally, the duo likes flexibility, allowing their inner punks to express themselves in song and especially on the stage.
KARMA!! starts with the EP's assertive introductory title track, "Karma." Immediately, Raue shows they're here to take the scene forcibly and that they aren't just here to play. The song takes a lot of different elements and influences to make a very layered powerhouse of a tune. It's a punk song inside an alternative rock track, but it's equally shoegaze as it is dream-pop. You have these unmistakable notes of influences from the '90s. Such as Hole, Sonic Youth, and Garbage, but the lingering influence of some more modern artists of the last decade, like Title Fight and Balance and Composure, are instantly emphasized.
Following "Karma" is the EP's second and final track, "Ruby Glow." Sonically, the duo lets the track soar. It features even more fuzzed-out guitars and fast, heavy-handed drums, and a fast bassline. Overall, the second track is a more atmospheric piece, and Raue lets their sound breathe. "Ruby Glow" is certainly more melodic than "Karma," and the track is just as infectious and continues to shine the uniqueness of what Raue is as a band. Performing a genre that has never actually settled on labels, the band can take their music anywhere within the realm as they evolve in their future releases. It's no question it just took two songs for me to instantly fall in love with the up-and-comers. You can now stream KARMA!! on all major music streaming services.
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