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Rahim Release Laughter On September 9

posted Jul 19, 2008, 9:34 AM by Vu Nguyen
From AAM

Rahim Photo Rahim have always existed with one foot in and one foot out of New York City. They began in the humble manner of so many bands- as a group of friends allured by the wonder of making music together, releasing cassettes and seven-inches to a dedicated local fan base. While the provinciality of their Long Island roots allowed for a unique musical direction, their proximity and relevance to New York City added an appropriate dose of urbane awareness and ambition. That combination of sound and vision produced a full-length [Ideal Lives, 2006 Frenchkiss Records] and an EP [Jungles, 2005] to strong critical praise and the band followed each release with a slew of national touring.
This long-cultivated and irreproducible musical vision is on full display on their second full-length Laughter- a record of tense melodies, expansive synth textures and restless percussive energy. Founding members Michael Friedrich and Phil Sutton enlisted Chris Bordeaux into the band and headed to Baltimore to record once again with legendary producer J. Robbins. The songs that emerged from that session are Rahim's strongest work to date. They create a sort of anxious beauty that comes off like the soundtrack to urban living on the brink of apocalypse, scored with a post-punk drum circle.
Incorporating the guitar-minimalism and rhythmic playfulness of 80's New Wave as well as the pop-song deconstructions of the 90's underground, Rahim's music walks a line between familiarity and discomfort. Within the record, and often within a single song, there are simultaneous expressions of apprehension and contemplation. Laughter transmits the sort of feeling that might be found in the quiet after a storm or a disaster- both calm and unsettling. Lyrically, themes of mechanization, devolution and urban chaos interweave with stories of the lives of ordinary people in a strange, imploding world.
It is a crowning statement for Rahim. Over the years they've managed to hold onto the youthful excitement of friends playing in a rehearsal space -- in fact, they still practice in the Phil's mom's basement -- while honing in on the more delicate aspects of songcraft and arrangement. In fact, it is Rahim's passionate attention to detail that allows new surprises to emerge from Laughter with each listen: increasingly complex and compelling melodies, expansive vocal and synthetic harmonies and a vast palette of instruments-including horns, vibraphones, buckets and garbage cans.
The fall of 2008 will find Rahim out on tour again, now a four-piece with the addition of multi-instrumentalist Christian Little. When they're not out on the road, though, you can still find these guys out on Long Island every Friday night, gathered together for practice and working out all the small details of every single song.
"With their debut full-length, Ideal Lives, the band accomplishes one of the most difficult things in the world of music: They move their sound forward and incorporate more of their influences without abandoning their earlier sonic identity." - Spin

"Ideal Lives sounds like a much older band's record played with a younger band's
chutzpah... It's Rahim's exquisite attention to counterintuitive detail, revivifying a genre that's been teetering on the verge of depletion for years." - Pitchfork

"Never mind song to song, Rahim seem to balance between different poles almost note to note. They switch between reflection and action consistently and effectively throughout Ideal Lives..." - Pop Matters