J.D. Rau is an artist from Pittsburg, PA, who recently released a silent assailant. First things first is that it's hard not to respect a complete DIY effort. Rau wrote, performed and recorded everything himself. The recording was raw and lo-fi to my ears. I have to admit I would have liked a little more polish on the album overall.
The album had a glam rock type of vibe. In fact I thought that Rau had an androgynous voice. I say this not in a kind of negative way in fact one of my favorites artists David Bowie certainly fits this categorization. Rau has a naturally high-pitched voice and in general I thought he did a good job. That being said there are multiple times where he goes for a really high octave and gets off key.
Musically, things are pretty basic sticking to a standard setup of guitar, bass and drums. The album starts with the title track. Rau displays his octave range with the transition of the verse to the chorus. “Hired Guns” was a highlight out of the batch; I enjoyed the guitar lick and progressive beat.
Another highlight was “mission to find intelligent life” which reminded me of David Bowie while “an exercise for psychics” also contains some inspired moments. “nicotine dreams and lipstick blues” and “we are star light” were the other highlights.
I have admit that I thought these songs would have benefited from some more instrumentation. There was a glam rock vibe to my ears and it would have been nice to hear a synth on a couple. If for no other reason then to get a variety of sounds.
A silent assailant is good enough to get an idea of of J.D. Rau’s sound but if he wants to gain a larger audience there is going to have to be a pretty big jump in production. Rau has some potential and I would hope to hear it realized as he evolves as an artist.
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