Rah Band The Crunch and Beyond
- Released: August 11, 2009
- Label: Repeat Records
- 1.The Crunch
- 2.Electric Fling
- 4.Is Anybody There?
- 6.Space Race
- 7.Turkey Roll
- 8.Vampire Vamp
- 9.Woogie Boogie
- 10.Crunch, The (Reprise)
- 11.Jiggery Pokkery
Personnel: Richard Hewson (guitar, keyboards, synthesizer); Peter King (saxophone); Barry DeSouza (drums); Tony Carr (percussion).
Audio Remasterer: Nick Robbins.
Liner Note Author: Philip King.
Photographer: Brian David Stevens.
Though he had the help of a few musicians, the Rah Band's first album was pretty much the project of multi-instrumentalist Richard Hewson, most famous as an arranger of noted recordings on the Apple label by the Beatles, James Taylor, and Mary Hopkin. In a limited sense, The Crunch & Beyond was ahead of its time, presenting instrumentals with dance rhythms centered around synthesizers. But while the title track got to number six in the U.K. (and was also a hit in several other countries, though not the U.S.), in other ways, the record sounds horribly dated at a few decades' remove. Much of the album presents basic early synth-pop riffs set to elementary dance rhythms, and these are often unmemorably cheesy, sometimes sounding like backing tracks that are missing the vocalist. Jazz fusion and disco influences criss-cross, as well as a slight layer of the kind of novelty associated with earlier electronic-based instrumentals done in hopes of cracking the pop market by the likes of Jean-Jacques Perrey. Some traces of reggae and dub (and, in "Woogie Boogie," rockabilly) are found in some of the more creative tracks, and this is a more serious and artistic endeavor than those by artists such as Perrey. Still, the material's not too substantial, and indeed enervating over in full-album dosage. [Cherry Red's 2006 edition included three bonus tracks.] ~ Richie Unterberger
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