By Mandi Kimes
Just in time for summer, Ravi Shavi releases their self-titled album on Almost Ready Records. The four-piece garage-pop band from Rhode Island is led by Pakistan-born Rafay Rashid and pack a punch in their music.
“Indecisions” wastes no time diving right into the album - with infectious emphasis on the 1-AND-TWO-3-FOUR in the drums. “You’re outta my league // But I’m in my element // Come home with me // Just for the hell of it” is Rashid’s plea. With remnants of Michael Rault and hints of Prince’s soulful demeanor (especially on his “Ow!”), Ravi Shavi move and shake through the tune.
Probably the most catchy song on the album “Accidental” resembles The Strokes in its vocal fuzziness and guitar tones. The word-flow is fun with the line “Accidental mental breakdown…” The instrumental breakdown (no pun intended) is riveting and too short for my liking, but the tune doesn’t disappoint altogether. The time signature changes at 2:13 and switches the groove from flailing about to an organized sway.
The garage-rock slow-jam of “Amphetamine” drags out the title word throughout the chorus. Rashid sings “I feel good, just like I should // With a little something special in my system // It’s not love, it’s not my friends // It’s a little something you can’t understand”. The chorus really rolls instrumentally as Rashid drags out “Aaaaam-pheeee-taaaa-miiiiiiiiine”. I would like to experience this song live, as I feel you can’t really digest the energy unless placed in their presence.
The tune “Problems” starts slow and mellow then picks up after a drumroll into a dancy jam. “You had a lot of problems at home, now you don’t” is the theme and lyrics of the song. As someone who comes from somewhat of a dysfunctional family (don’t we all?) this was a comical, yet true song to listen to and relate to. But, Rashid lays it down with one simple line: “Of all the basic needs, you’ve got to be free.” He yells and wails before jumping back into the groovy chorus.
“Vacation Holiday” ends the album with a mood that seems to bring the album to perfect close - mellow down and repeat a line all us workaholics know to be true: “Oh vacation holiday // I really, really want to go.” The rimshots on the snare with the drumsticks make the beat that much more contagious. The instrumental break exemplifies the talent of the guitarists politely dueling for the spotlight. For fans of Local Natives, you’ll really dig this percussive, dynamic tune.