Raga is a brand new album from the experimental noise rock duo Among the Rocks and Roots, formed by Abdul-Hakim Bilal and Samuel Goff. Armed with a bass guitar, a drum set, and a voice, the two-man group play distorted and slow, cathartic music that is politically and socially engaged, lyrically. Indeed, Raga is the second part to an upcoming trilogy about addiction, and tackle the themes of abuse, race, and class conflict.
While I didn’t feel engrossed by part one of this trilogy, Samudra garba pathe, Raga is speaking to me. I have to say, the production value is much better this time around, and the concept of this movement – “the anger, hatred and frustration of being [addicted]” – translates into much more interesting musical ideas. The double album consists of four tracks that add up to one hour and a half of distortion, harsh vocals, and an almost ritualistic use of the various drums.
Raga is slow and heavy, and carries the weight of its subject matters perfectly to the listener. This is an album to listen to loudly, and let yourselves drift off in a trancelike state. It is an amazing noise rock album.