Angora is Mike Richard (guitar/keyboards/percussion), Kalya Ramu (vocals), Ruben Huizenga (bass/percussion) and Ken Griffin (drums/percussion). The four-piece band's self-titled album Angora feels like a homage to gritty, hard rock that you can imagine playing at the best dive bar in town at around two in the morning.
Throughout the EP the band indulges in 101 tricks of the trade that hard rock fans have come to know and love. Suffice it to say Angora doesn’t bring much new to the genre but will satiate those who prefer a pure, untouched version of hard rock that harks back as far back to the ‘60s.
The band opens with a cover song entitled “Louisiana Blues” which is a perfect title because that's exactly what it sounds like. Ramu has a voice that sounds almost too tailor made for the style they are playing. If she pushed her southern flair any more it would feel like a caricature. The songs contains some wicked slide guitar and is well delivered in general but really doesn’t offer any pleasant surprises that make it feel like anything else than a genre piece.
On the next song “Hot Dollar Fella” the band ditches the southern Louisiana vibe and replaces it with a forward moving hard rock vibe that infuses elements of the blues. It’s a hard-hitting song where you could reference a myriad of other bands but also is a good, fun song you shouldn’t think too hard about.
“Walkin' Blues” is another aptly titled song originally performed by Robert Johnson. Ramu certainly isn’t the first to talk about shoes, walking and leaving your man - see Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made For Walking.” She sings, “I woke up this mornin', feelin' round for my shoes / Know 'bout 'at I got these, old walkin' blues / Woke up this mornin', feelin' round for my shoes / But you know 'bout that baby I got these old walkin' blues.”
The band once again kills it when naming their songs with exactly what they sound like with “Slow Blues.” It’s a solid, slow blues song. They close with a good ole’ fashioned rocker that contains slight experimentation that I wish I heard a little bit more of. Towards the end of the song the band slides into an Eastern influenced part that I thought was arguably the most inventive transition on the EP.
Angora is a release that wears its influence on its sleeve and I think it’s hard to deny that because of the two cover songs. That being said the delivery is often great and I got the impression that the band probably at this point excels best in a live environment. The band mixes up the feel quite well while never completely abandoning the hard rock blueprint. If the band released more music I’d like to hear them break away from some of the hard rock tropes they were feeding and not be afraid to get outside of the comfort zone that I heard on the closer. At the end of the day Angora is a solid, unpretentious EP that I think a lot of people will enjoy.
Become A Fan
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook