Crickets, stoners and ghosts.
-- The RG's --
|■||Wouter Vandaele||Vocals, guitar|
Review written by Glenn Van Bockstale.
The RG’s are a Belgian alternative rock band formed in 2013 as a two-piece band before bassist Jens joined in a year later. In 2015 they brought out their title-less debut album and recently we’ve got the band’s second album “The Cricket Sound” sent to us by the band’s frontman Wouter. Thanks a lot, man!
The album begins with “Bored Ass Tony,” a fast pounding opening track that immediately shows one of the main features of the RG’s sound. Which is how the heavy beats play alongside Wouter’s surprisingly relaxed vocals, it’s a nice contrast that continues throughout this release. Up next is the song “Stevie, The Guy Who Didn’t Pay Us,” a tune that further expands on the high-octane stoner rock from the previous track. In fact, the RG’s sound reminds me of Ghost, specifically in the band’s frequent use of operatic melodies and the calm, almost psychedelic vocals. But what makes the RG’s style different from the Swedish clergy is in their faster paced and more stoner and noise rock oriented material. Then comes the album’s title track, another hard rocking tune and with several bass lines that, in fact, sound just like crickets. Go figure!
The album’s fourth track, “Dirty Allen,” a slightly slower and more meditative song with some high-pitched chanting throughout the track. Up next is “All Day,” one of my favorite tunes on this release, a swinging and very atmospheric stoner rock n’ roll song about self-reflection and redemption. Then comes “Keep Your Secrets,” another thunderous stoner track with a surprisingly catchy chorus being sung alongside frantic riffs. Track seven, “Dead Inside,” is more light-hearted and alternative oriented while still having a noise rock edge. The album’s penultimate song is “My Friend Ed” and is the longest track on this release, clocking in at over 7-minutes but The RG’s manage to keep things interesting with their frequent tempo changes, mixture of alternative, stoner, noise and grunge rock and a lengthy instrumental part in the middle of the song. And finally there’s “Smack Your Neighbour,” a nice, intimate track that functions as a nice cool down from this sweet album.
I’ll admit that stoner rock isn’t quite my cup of tea but I’m pleased to say that the RG’s second album presented this particular subgenre in a very pleasant and engaging way. This release has plenty of high energy moments and parts wherein you can sit back and relax to the howling melodies. It’s kind of like Ghost but with stoner and noise added to the mix and it’s a successful combo. Check out the The Cricket Sound’s title track here!