Released in November of last year, ‘Colours & Sounds’ is the debut EP by Dublin based four piece Raphaels.
Having been chosen by Whelans as one of the bands to watch out for in 2015, this EP comes with a weight of expectation. On the basis of the title track the hype is justified. A delightful slice of Americana, singer Ray Mullens melancholic vocals sit perfectly on top of a base of simple acoustic strumming and jangly lead playing. An exquisite tempo change adds an extra dimension to the song too, justifying its five minute running time in the process.
The quality of the opener is unfortunately not matched over the rest of the EP though. This is mainly due to a bizarre change of direction with the country flavourings of the opener ditched in place of a sound that could be best described as an Oasis pastiche. Monkey Dancing On A Razor Blade seems to be their attempt to emulate The Importance of Being Idle but ultimately fails to capture the songs stomping swagger. The song also marks a change in terms of vocal delivery with the singer adopting a style that’s very much of the Liam Gallagher school of (anti) singing. Need This (And You Do) leans even more heavily on Oasis for inspiration, lifting its intro almost note for note from the opening to Be Here Now’s Fade In-Out– remarkable, if only for the reason that proves someone is still listening to the much maligned album.
Revolution is more of the same, a song that sounds like a band impersonating Oasis impersonating the Beatles. In spite of its lack of originality, there are positives to take from it. The song carries a strong melody and the outro, though ridiculously overblown, shows that these lads are fine musicians.
A disjointed affair, the moments of quality on this EP are outweighed by overbearing sense of the familiar. If this band want to progress, they need to distance themselves from their influence(s). The first song proves that this is more than possible. For now though they sound about as inspiring as Oasis post Britpop output.