Raid the Quarry

screenshot_20190325-132005.png[All images courtesy of Crimson Moon Records, LLC / Raid the Quarry]

Hailing from Raleigh, North Carolina, Raid the Quarry is proud to share their release of Temporary Cemetery, dropping April 2nd, 2019!

Described as an “amps-to-11” style modern rock band in the vein of Anberlin, Foo Fighters, and Weezer, Raid the Quarry draws on traditions from an array of genres, including classic rock, hardcore, punk, and even blues to create their approachable alternative rock sound. Their debut EP, Priority One, translated this into a record reminiscent of 2000’s pop punk and post hardcore in 2016, but now they’re back with a new record that promises even more rock!

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From the musings of frontman, Daniel Stidham (Vocals/Guitar) and Brian Rogers (Lead Guitar) comes a record with all new techniques and a fresh sound. The band, also including the implacable onstage energies of Aaron Farnsworth (Bass) and Trey Yoder (Drums), used instruments played through loud amplifiers with minimal effects—and the experiment paid off!

Overall, the album is a fresh take on rock traditions with an abundance of energy. Perfect for fans of alternative or modern rock, Temporary Cemetery is an album to watch out for. 

The first track of the album, “Have Your Cake and Edict, Too,” features more than just clever wordplay. The unforgettable guitar riffs build zaps of energy to start off the album, featuring crystal-clear, zippy tones to back up honeyed-yet-husky vocals. While more emphasis could be put on the initial consonants of words, the vocalist does a superb job of  clicking with the rest of the band to produce a driving, spirited song.

“Swift Epiphany” fits the aesthetic “Have Your Cake and Edict Too” creates, but adds a rockier feel with hard, edgy drums and driven guitar riffs. The bassline is far more noticeable in this track, adding new life to the low end and pushing the high end to the next level. The instrumentals were superb, particularly the blending of parts; there are no copycat lines here, only masterfully interwoven harmonies and complementary rhythms. I first listened to “Swift Epiphany” while working out, and I can vouch for its energizing value as the newest edition to your gym playlist.

The third song of the album,”Swing for the Fence” also incorporates the bassy feel I love from this record. Although it starts in a more bare-bones manner, the subdued percussion clicks and mellow bassline blend effortlessly into a silky-smooth chorus. The instrumentals of this track are nothing but groovy, adding a new dimension to an already fantastic rock album. The lyrics, too, don’t disappoint. Tastefully interspersed among the instrumentals—although at times difficult to decipher in the mix—they tell a story of their own without becoming overbearing: “I can feel the walls falling on my head/Crashing so loud/Didn’t hear what you said….”

“Liars and Thieves” keeps the momentum of “Swing for the Fence” while incorporating the clear, clean guitar tones Raid the Quarry specializes in. The bouncy, fresh guitar lines married perfectly with impressively steady basslines in a way that reminded me of Gaelic rock’s pressing force, particularly at the four minute mark until the final few bars. In terms of basslines alone, this song is technically striking. Although the part may sound simple at first listen, each note in the swinging rhythm is perfectly defined, unfaltering. Even with the addition of a few classy fills, I never lost sight of the bassist’s intentions for the piece. Hats off to you for this one, Mr. Farnsworth!

“Liars and Thieves” transitions into “Ghost Town” seamlessly as the next track adopts a similar style while still pronouncing itself as a distinct entity with distinctive bell tone guitar riffs in the introduction. The vocals and lyrics flow well with the rest of the track, exploring the higher ranges while still balancing with the low end: “We’ll go shake hands with these liars and thieves/Oh, these old soldiers never had a lot to say/Got on my one trick pony then galloped away.”

The vocals of “Ghost Town” give off some serious Daughtry vibes! The rich undertones and forceful, yet haunting delivery of the vocals combined with singing guitar parts give this track a true classic rock feel with punk and hardcore undertones. This track is perfectly suited for fans of Rise Against and Senses Fail.

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“Electric” is a catchy example of modern rock with lyrics that flow naturally: “Your touch, it’s electric/Setting off my pyrotechnics.” Its style suits the album’s aesthetic in a similar way to “Ghost Town,” serving as a solid follow up in the track order. I would have liked a heavier bass part in the mix, but the vocals stand out well in this track. Steady and full of energy to the last beat, “Electric” would be another great addition to a cardio workout playlist.

The vocals of “You Did Good, Kid” are as smooth as honey cascading from a honey dipper, matching well with subdued instrumentals. Despite the quieter energy of the song, Raid the Quarry didn’t lose any momentum with its placement. The break in between classic hard rock was a nice palette cleanser, and maybe even a great introduction to the band for a listener who isn’t into aggressive, loud music (yet). “You Did Good, Kid” reminded me a bit of the style of Ted Hajnasiewicz’s music.

“Patience, Patience” took the pace up a bit after “You Did Good, Kid’s” mini break. While still on the slower side of things, “Patience, Patience’s” choral-like backing harmonies and nicely-filled instrumental riffs give it a fuller feel remniscent of some of Panic! at the Disco’s work. The urgency in the time signature gave this track a special pacing that really contirbuted to its edgy, punk feel in a modern rock package.

I love  the title of”Dearest Icarus!” I’m always a fan of Icarus-themed songs (See: Vigil Antics’ “Deus Ex“), so I was excited to give this a listen. Luckily, no matter how many times I give it a listen, it doesn’t get old! The enthusiasm behind each note is palpable, the lyrics are fantastically presented, and the melody is definitely catchy. I wanted to get up and dance along with the twirling guitars and stomping percussion parts. If you ever had the priveledge of seeing Raid the Quarry live, it would be illegal to not sing every word (and instrumental part) along with them! “Oh, it’s in my mind/ I can’t sweat this out/ It’s with me all the time…”

The last track of Temporary Cemetery was “The Return.” Despite its order in the album, this track brought a whole new style to the repertoire of the release as a whole. Although listeners can note the familiar themes of clean, boomy bass and guitar lines, we get to hear a slower, more relaxed Raid the Quarry. While I would have liked to see a bit more of this style before the last song, I do think this track does its job at tying up the experience with a nice red bow. It feels like a final song in the way that you always know in your bones when a band is nearing the end of their live set. The finality works well here in form of clear vocal runs that span an impressive range, warm melodies, and, if I’m hearing it right, acoustic guitar.

I’m excited to witness the release of Temporary Cemetery, coming April 2, 2019 (Tuesday). If you listen to the album, let me (and the band know what you think!

To connect with Raid the Quarry, visit their links below:
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