It’s been quite a coup for Raglans to land themselves a deal with one of the coolest indie labels around, Fierce Panda who have previously put out releases for Idlewild, Supergrass, Placebo and Ash. That’s a fine roster to have worked with and for an up and coming Raglans it appears to be the best place for them to grow. And part of that process is their new EP ‘Again & Again’.
In some ways it’s an apt title for this new collection of songs. It’s not a radical departure from 2014 ‘sself-titled debut album. ‘Again & Again’ is essentially more of the same. Considering the hit rate on their debut album that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
‘Again & Again’ opens with the typical briskness that you associate with Raglans in the form of Who Knows. From the start, there is a noticeable extra layer of sheen applied though. That could be down to producer Jason Wade from US band Lifehouse whos’ own band has a highly commercial sound. It’s a vibrant, high velocity tune that’s primetime radio ready. The rapid drum roll at the start signals intent with hurried guitar and Raglans’ trademark harmonies are present and correct. If there is a complaint is that it’s a little obvious. It is instantly likeable, but loses some if its vitality over repeated listens.
True North grabs you even quicker. It’s shimmering guitars stand out among Raglans’ catalogue of songs and makes it one of the most identifiable songs. Over time the song that stands out most is War Torn. Amongst the hustle and bustle of Raglans’ uproarious tongs, WarTorn is much more measured and builds to a resounding crescendo. It has the depth that was missing from the quick thrills of the opening songs. House Where I Was Born is another rapid-fire tune that is competent but doesn’t hold attention as much over days and weeks, certainly not compared to other Raglans songs. It just doesn’t have enough to define itself as sufficiently different form what’s gone on before.
If ‘Again & Again’ were a meal is a tasty morsel, but not the full three courses that we were expecting. It’s quick to please, but the aftertaste doesn’t linger on the palette as long as it should. For now it should be enough to tide fans over until Raglans’ next full release.