Album Review: The Rah’s – Common Ground

The Breakdown

Scottish rockers cement their place with a stellar second album

After wowing with the debut album ‘When Does It Become Real’ the East Lothian rockers have returned with 2024’s explosive ‘Common Ground’. Sighting bands like The Arctic Monkeys, The Enemy, RHCP, Black Keys, BRMC as influences, Jack Mcleod (vocals), Neale Gray (drums), Jordan McIntyre (guitar), Lee Brown (bass) and Jack Miller (keyboards and acoustic guitar) have dropped a sophomore album that sees them cement their place in the rock n roll scene.

The album has a good breadth of styles as the band are more than happy to cross or blend genres. The explosive disco opener ‘Do I need it?’ with its straight cut synths and throbbing bass flows nicely into the cocky indie swagger of track two, ‘I’ve Never Been Wrong’ with its razor sharp guitar work.

It’s clear that the bands singer has some talent deploying rock god vocals on one of the albums singles ‘Blood For Gold’. A brooding track that simmers on the verses then explodes with some good old ‘ooohs’ as backing vocals under the grooved up lyrical phrasing. The second single ‘I’ve Never Been Wrong’ follows in the same vein as is a solid rock track that fits in nicely with the rest of the album.

The band have crafted some rock bruisers with tracks like ‘Intrusive Thoughts’ as McIntyre lays down a scorching guitar solo and a commanding performance from the bands singer. ‘Money Tree’ is a sneering track that brings the rock back to the album after the breather ‘Waiting For Tomorrow’. It’s a groovy bluesy rock that sets the listener up nicely for ‘When We Say Nothing’ with the simple plodding of Lee Brown’s bass setting the pace.

‘Walk’ is a gentler track with a more melodic pop sense that shines on the chorus and lifts the track up to sunny heights. Jack McLeod puts him some strong lung work here. Sitting in the indie/ rock vein of vocalists you can hear the influences as he brings in a bit of Alex Turner on this track and ‘Departure’ which could easily be a monkey’s track on the first verse but it is very much a Rah’s track on the chorus with McIntyre adding some 6 string bite.

However, it’s on ‘Waiting For Tomorrow’ that Mcleod comes into his own. A gorgeous track with shimmering guitars that go from soft to huge chords ripping through the chorus. A nod to Neale Gray who has been solid throughout the album but really leads the emotive charge on this track. The album’s other slow ballad ‘Out In Time’ is a acoustic-led ballad coloured by McIntyre’s tasteful fret work.

The closing track ‘Crawling’ is a seething rock masterpiece with a chorus that hits hard as the band take things one step further with distorted chords, screeching guitars a good dose of arena sized drums and even a tinkle of rock piano. Despite moments of musical brilliance from the Mcleod and McIntyre, the latter pulling something special out on this track, the band as a whole delivers a collective effort as they sync together.

It’s an album that ploughs straight through its track listing delivering blistering rock riffs, stellar vocals and huge choruses. Being the second album you can hear the time spent on these songs and the maturity of the bands songwriting. Writing for the second album is when you see the bands talent come out.

These aren’t songs that have been finely honed in various sweaty live stages and rehearsal rooms, such as the first album. The band have shown that that debut album was no fluke and they have plenty left in the creative tank. These guys are set to carry on the torch laid down by bands such as Arctic Monkeys and The Enemy and BRMC.

Check out the track I’ve Never Been Wrong, below:

Find out more via the bands Facebook

Read our interview with the band here

Purchase the album here

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