Raccoon Fighter – “ZIL”

Everett weighs in on the newest release from Brooklyn-based garage act Raccoon Fighter. Listen to ‘ZIL’ now!

Everett Verner

7.5
out of 10

Raccoon Fighter
ZIL
October 1st, 2013
Papercup Music

Brooklyn based three-piece Raccoon Fighter’s first full-length album sets a nice pace early as feedback wails into a bluesy beat in the opening track, “Delivered”, a preachy song with a catchy chorus encouraging the listener to “be delivered…animate yourself from your automated shell.” It’s a great start to the album as it pulls you in and sets a tone and pace that carries into the laid back grooves of “Santa Tereza”. While not a noteworthy song,it sounds like the Allah-Las or some of the more mellow Black Lips songs of the past few years, pulling from a 60’s surfer garage. The middle of the album stays in this vein of sound of optimistic acid grooves with well-crafted feedback backing an edgy rock’n roll feel as Raccoon Fighter drop witty lyrics, harmonic overtures, and a sense of freedom through experience.

As the album progresses, they weave in more keys and flex their skills and pull from just about every genre of the past 40 years that involved a guitar. The real gem of the album, “In My Pocket”, builds from a slow paced rhythm towards a bursting change of pace from lumbering through life without luck, or need of it, to some form of clarity as they belt, “I see lines straight through a maze” as the song spins away from the opening rhythm to harmonies and more of the optimism of the previous few tracks. The line “You know this don’t happen every day” gives the listener the sense that whatever they’ve been waiting to take advantage of is in front of them, a feeling that flows throughout the album. The final contribution to the album, “Pyramid Scheme to Heaven”, slows everything down with pulsing feedback and dark drum beats to end the album on a darker note, showing even more range from a trio that seems just as content to layer songs as they are to strip them down.

I’ve listened to this album at least a dozen times and I found the trick to really enjoying it is to TURN IT UP LOUD. With a litany of subtle nuances in chords and lyrics, ZIL needs only to be cranked up to enjoy the ride. Unfortunately, it’s only eight tracks, and only three of those break the 3:30 mark (none are even 4 minutes). Brevity aside, I’m going to keep listening to this one and looking out for the next one from Raccoon Fighter.

Raccoon Fighter – “Santa Tereza”