There might too much to like about Cooked & the Raw, a two-man band from Portland, OR consisting of David Lincoln Mann and Chase Burton. On their recent full-length The Red Herring they bring a lot to the table including original, high-pitched vocals, raw crunchy guitar riffs and some of the most ridiculously good drumming I have heard in a while. Across the twelve songs they mix it up quite a bit as they flirt with different genres and styles. They can create warm atmospheres but also can rock out properly when they want.
They start out with the album with such a fun sounding song called “Tundra.” The drumming and vocals carry the song. Don’t get me wrong, the guitar was cool but the vocals and drumming is what made the song have its own unique flavor. Over two-and-a-half minutes the band brings a large dose of originality and rock.
“Yeah Right” has one the catchiest choruses I have heard in quite some time. In a high-pitched voice Mann sings; “You said everything would be fine, yeah right You said everything would be fine, you lied I can't take the pressure falling onto my head I'm sick of this turmoil, this turmoil.” Oh yeah and it also contains a subtle but effective organ. Just when I thought I couldn't find something else to like about the band they hit me over the head with “Dujaz.” It’s a different vibe than their previous tunes. The recognizable proficient drumming and vocal work is there but they implement warm atmosphere pads and piano. They rock it out in very cool and unexpected way. It is also one of Mann’s most dynamic vocal performances. He sings “ Ain't nothing here no more You're taking me to the end Don't tell me to let my mind move’’ in a lower pitch while he also raises his voice a couple of octaves during other parts.
They continue with interesting, varied instrumental choices on “Caviar” while “Untitled Waltz” is another musical deviation that stems from an emotional anchor that wasn't as apparent on some of the previous songs. “So Damn Late” has a tinge of reggae influence and continues to show other strengths of the band.
I don’t like gushing about bands but if there has to be a band that I do it’s Cooked & The Raw. This is one of the albums you would be a fool to pass up.
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