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Razbari Sumthing - The Great Distraction (Cover Artwork)

Razbari Sumthing

Razbari Sumthing: The Great DistractionThe Great Distraction (2005)
Ska and Reggae

Reviewer Rating: 4.5


Contributed by: LifeofthePartyLifeoftheParty
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Razbari Sumthing, a seven-piece ska band hailing from East Syracuse, New York, isn't your usual ska band. Their new album, The Great Distraction proves why they're standouts in one of the up-and-coming ska scenes in America. Upstate New York has given birth to No Name Charlies, the Naked Citizens, E.


Razbari Sumthing, a seven-piece ska band hailing from East Syracuse, New York, isn't your usual ska band. Their new album, The Great Distraction proves why they're standouts in one of the up-and-coming ska scenes in America. Upstate New York has given birth to No Name Charlies, the Naked Citizens, Endive, Public Access, and many more. These bands and several others were featured last year on the all-day festival Big Orange Bonanza, organized by Naked Citizens. The event is scheduled for June 7th this year. Even in this blossoming upstate scene, Razbari proves they are one of the elite with this album.

The album's sound mostly revolves around dark guitar riffs and bass-lines with horns and choruses that brighten the tracks. The dominant themes on the album concern the struggles of playing ska and singer Mike Larkin's life. The album starts off with "Dungeons and Dragons," a solid opener. The second track, "Untitled," informs us of the strength of the ska scene, despite a lack of respect from those outside the scene. Although the song is slower than I usually like, it is very impressive and shows how dynamic a two-trumpet combo can be. "Dickfor" is my favorite song on the album; it is a very good third-wave song with a very catchy chorus. Listening to the song, you will be surprised by the band's originality and their lack of national attention. The following song, "Crystal Green and Gold," keeps the momentum going with tremendously captivating horn lines. The song is not about playing ska, but it talks about how people are usually fake. It reminds me of one of my favorite bands, World Inferno Friendship Society.

The Great Distraction takes a turn with the acoustic track "Okay" in which Larkin looks back at his high school years as he struggles with college life. The song is meaningful, holds your attention, and somehow fits in perfectly with the rest of the album. The next track, "P.S. -- To Whom It May Concern," leads the album into yet another direction. This track, which takes the form of a letter, reminds me of Ray Davies (Kinks) and his use of a horn section, particularly on the recent "Yours Truly Confused, N10," off his recent EP, Thanksgiving. Both songs are clever with the energy springing from the horns.

The second half of The Great Distraction is just as impressive as the first. Starting off with "Into the Grey," the album takes another crazy turn. This song begins dark and shady, but progresses with flawless horn lines and becomes another noteworthy song on this album, giving off the vibe of a Flaming Tsunamis' song, which is a good thing. "Breathe" lightens things up. The horn lines here are very similar to those of Big D and the Kids Table, the theme being lost in darkness and trying to solve problems. The next track, "Valley of Kings," is the only instrumental track and demonstrates Razbari's versatility as musicians.

"Mountains of Avalon" keeps this adventure rolling along. The horns are not used throughout the song, but when they do enter they play a major role. The song is about how the singer's parents aren't impressed with their children's best efforts and the mountain is a metaphor for the child's self-esteem. "Freak Out" starts off acoustic, but then transforms into an electric ska song. The song is about how Larkin and his girlfriend's relationship is in crisis. His girlfriend is concerned about their future and Larkin is not sure there will be a future: "She's freaked out about the future and what it can hold for her and me, will we last until tomorrow? ? Don't plan for tomorrow, because tomorrow may never come. Worrying about it just seems dumb." Listening to this song made me think of the Specs, formally known as the Superspecs.

The title track, "The Great Distraction," is my least favorite. However, the final track, "End of Time," is a fitting conclusion to the album. It features complex horn lines and sums up what the album is all about: great horn lines, clever lyrics, and solid all-around musicianship.

The Great Distraction is already one of my favorite local albums of all-time, in close competition with the Arrogant Sons of Bitches' Discography, High School Football Heroes' Close Only Counts in Horseshoes and Handgrenades, the Superspecs' Project H.A.N.D.S.O.F.F., and No Name Charlies' 3 Blocks Down. But Razbari Sumthing is different. They combine acoustic tracks, third-wave ska, skacore, and alternative rock, and raise comparisons all the way from Hall-of-Fame frontman Ray Davies to cult-like World Inferno Friendship Society to national third-wave band Big D and the Kids Table. I haven't had a chance to see Razbari Sumthing perform yet, but I hear that they are equally great live. I recommend seeing them on their Spring/Summer tour when they hit your town!

 

 
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The Planet Smashers - Life of the PartyBig D and the Kids Table - The Gipsy Hill EP [2]

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Hein (April 7, 2006)

I find it pretty remarkable that there's no reference to Reel Big Fish anywhere, because I thought that this band sounded a lot like them in quite a few songs. Another band that I associate this with is the now RIP Italian band The Shandon. I never been a big ska-guy though when all the songs are slowly hobbling along, which I thought this CD had a bit too much of. Get in some more of that energy here (which a few songs have) and it could work out though.

pasha (March 13, 2006)

I don't have the album, but I've listend to their MySpace and it doesn't impress me. I love ska and I like 3rd wave cheesy ska bands (I like Save Ferris), but I just don't like this band.

And to the idiot who said that skacore and 3rd wave-ska is the same, you're wrong.

almostpunkenough (March 13, 2006)

i think i need to check these guys out.

i really wanna go to the April 8th show. BTMI! are sick and i know the guys in Daly's. i'll almost definitley be there.

LifeoftheParty (March 12, 2006)

here's my take on this "issue"

1- I'm by far not even close to one of the best reviewers. Probably on the lower side of the scale.

2- Supporting local bands is truely great, but if your doing it for the sake their locals and not because you like them then that's stupid.

3- I think razbari sumthing is very good

Anonymous (March 12, 2006)

i dont like this band. i love ska. will is an idiot.

and to the person saying "you really should support a ska band since stuff like fall out boy is popular and fall out boy is crap"

whay should i support a crappy ska band? why not one of the many great ska bands?

Anonymous (March 12, 2006)

Fuck the naysayers who juat hate ska, Razbari Sumthing, despite having a pretty goofy name, is a great band. They are defineatly not just another third wave generic ska band. RazSum takes their music into uncharted territory to create some awesome tracks, and a crazy live show. And they havent even been around that long, they can only get better.
-alex

Anonymous (March 12, 2006)

Razbari Sumthing is simply amazing.
Their album is great and they put on amazing live shows.
For any of you who haven't gotten a chance to see them, check them out live because they are full of energy and their shows rock.
As for the person who commented and said they were douches, do you even know the band members personally?
For example, Rory. I doubt you even know him, but he is an amazing guy and if you think he's a douche then there has got to be something wrong with you.
I love you guys, and its too bad you lost 2 of your members for scheduling conflicts and college, but you still rock!

-Christina

Oh yea, thanks for all the help and support to gave to Off Main Street (formerly The Verbs). Drew and Rosie are two of my very good friends and I know they appreciated all your help and support.

LifeoftheParty (March 12, 2006)

for anybody who actually likes razbari sumthing or ska in general I'm putting on two ska shows in brooklyn!

March 18th
Doors: 7:15
Show: 7:30
Venue: Third Rail Studio
Address: 1549 63rd St, between 15th and 16h Aves
Brooklyn, NY
All Ages, $10

Tri-State Conspiracy
High School Football Heroes
the Specs
No Name Charlies
The Washington Riot

then on april 8th you got

the flaming tsunamis
bomb the music industry!
dalys gone wrong
razbari sumthing
the vicars

You can take the N to New Utrecht or D or M to 62nd St.

Anybody intrested?

Anonymous (March 12, 2006)

My name Michael Larkin. To those of you who hate my band, I respect you for your right to this oppinion. Although, I would like to point something out, if I may. In almost every case, this reviewer's take on the significance of our music was eye openning for me. He has ways to look at our songs I had never thought of before. Is he wrong to think my lyrics mean something that I had not originally intended? No. To me that simply says, this music has dept that I did not even realize. I believe that music is the greatest art form. Think about it. When has a piece of pottery ever moved. you? When has a great feet of architecture ever illicited more of a response than,"Oh. Cool." I don't care if you like my band or not, all I'm asking you to do give music a chance. It's hard enough to be a real band in today's pre-packaged, artificially manufactured, pop-infested musical climate as it is. So a certain band is not "your thing". That's cool, but guys, we're just like you. We jam in our garage, and have played the same kind of community centers and crappy basement shows. And no matter what, it's awesome, because when it comes right down to it, all any of us really want is to get up on stage and rock somebody.

Anonymous (March 11, 2006)

I don't see what everyone has against ska... It's not like it's popular enough to be annoying and can be fun sometimes.

Also, I doubt any of you idiots have heard the new Ray Davies, so who are you to comment on music? You probably think shit like AC/DC is good. Ugh.

Score is for the reviewer. Better reviewer than anyone else on this site.

-Will

Anonymous (March 11, 2006)

Do you really think every band will quit because some people are talking shit about Razbari Sumthing on a message board?

Anonymous (March 11, 2006)

I would just like to say that if any of you are in bands of your own, you should support another ska band because i don't know if you noticed or not, but ska is dying all over the country. And if it's still big in your area, embrace it because it will dwindle soon when bands like Fall Out Boy and Hawthorne Heights are considered to be talanted. And if you're not in a band, then who the hell are you to judge. At least they're out there contributing to the music scene. Just keep trash talking bands until they all eventually give up and the bitch and whine when there aren't any shows anymore because oh wait, it was dicks like you that destroyed the scene. Even if you don't like a band, don't shit talk them, just recognize them for their effort. Stop acting like fifteen year olds and talking smack on message boards.
- Paula

Anonymous (March 11, 2006)

Razbari Sumthing is definitly headed for great things. Their stage presence is unbeatable and every show I've seen has been an awesome time. If you've never seen them live, I highly recommend you do! Plus, these guys are all great people...super nice guys. The Great Distraction is a great record. It's catchy, fun and full of energy.

feeeding5000 (March 10, 2006)

I'm sure that within a month, all the "cool" ska kids at my school will be wearing this band's t-shirt. Listen: 3rd wave is dead. The music is uninspired, the lyrics are stupid, the attitude is for jackass, jokey frat boys, and the music is written for pop radio circa 1996. FUCK! Just. Stop.

Anonymous (March 10, 2006)

Awesome. Period.

Vincent_M (March 10, 2006)

Garbage...

Anonymous (March 10, 2006)

Kid when you say third wave and skacore essential you're killing one bird with two stones. Those two terms are virtually synonoms.

Anonymous (March 10, 2006)

I am not one to bash any music but this band is boring...at least to me. Unfortunatley I have seen this band too many times due to them opening for several ska shows...I now arrive late

Anonymous (March 10, 2006)

i just checked his profile, this reviewer is a freshman in highscool. no offense dude, but you really shouldnt be reviewing stuff until you've heard a little more music and been around a little longer. it also explains why you think this is so unique.

Anonymous (March 10, 2006)

their live show is cool the first time, until you realize that every song sounds exactly the same. and have i failed to mention they theyre douches?

Anonymous (March 10, 2006)

Shit review, shit band. Score is for cookies.

Signed,
The Gimmick

Anonymous (March 10, 2006)

suburban legends are miles beyond this trash....and you can imagine where that leaves this if generic ska like suburban legends is miles beyond it

Anonymous (March 10, 2006)

When I listen to this I think of the Suburban Legands.

I don't like the Suburban Legands.

Anonymous (March 10, 2006)

leave ska to michigan, thank you.

Anonymous (March 10, 2006)

and the cover art is shit too

Anonymous (March 10, 2006)

oh come on, this bands songs are so generic and cheesy...if this came out in the late nineties it would have just been one more uninspired ska band clogging the scene

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