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Ravishers - Ravishers 

Ethan Maffey review's the new self-titled LP from Portland band Ravishers.

The self-titled debut LP from Portland band Ravishers, is seriously... cool. Not cool without merit, like that guy in high school who was only popular because his parents had money, but cool like Arthur Fonzarelli. You know, naturally cool.

Ravishers (formerly known as Dominic Castillo & The Rock Savants), have spent the last few years putting together this album and the attention to detail on each song is proof. The shifts from down to up-tempo beats within each song are subtly constructed and perfectly timed. You're going to hear some exceptionally stoic vocals on most every track (think The Cure or The National), but they're often rolled in with such sugary piano, horns, drum beat, and even hand claps that Dominic's smooth singing becomes more indie-pop sounding than anything else. This is especially evident on "Keep You Around," (a track from the Savant days) that with the harmonized vocals of Kelly Masigat becomes an open road kind of summertime song.

Many of the album's cuts deal with relationships and cover topics ranging from a guy who wants to reveal who he really is to a girl, ("I'm Him"), to a guy who wishes a girl would realize he's what she's been looking for ("You Have It"), to a guy who just likes pursuing girls, but isn't really interested in catching them ("The Chase")... and that's just the first three songs. Mixed by Rian Lewis (bass player for Derby, another Portland band), Ravishers' debut has that effortless feel that somewhat ironically means they probably did a ton of work on it. All 12 tracks have big sounds, experimental nuances, and enough coolness to help the Fonz defeat Mork.

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