Raccoo-oo-oon Is Night People

[Release the Bats; 2006]

Oh 2006, how I misjudged thee! There I was, spitting out dispirited review
after review while a tumultuous tide was rising under my feet. A few
months pass, and BLAMMO, MUTHERTRUCKER! A slew of exciting releases have
made their way into my mailbox and my heart. Raccoo-oo-ooon's newly
reissued Is Night People has more than a little to do with this
resurgence. Never heard of them? Well get with it Willy — the water is

The toughest thing about reviewing an album this sumptuous is not knowing
where to start. The tasty tiger purrs? The loooooong snatches of tribal
drumming? The effects, loops and manatee calls sprawled overtop like dried
soup skin? The random singing, shrieking, and wailing that never adheres
to structure but stands all the sturdier for it?

Nah, fuck it. Analyzing music this primal is like analyzing the taste of a
near-ripe plum: You could sit and crunch the numbers like a Wall Street
hack, but why not just sink your teeth into it and let the juices run down
your face? Reveling in the glory of Racacacooonynooony — or whatever the
shit they call themselves — is like tapping a hot-water geyser and letting
the warmth envelope you, addictive enough to keep one transfixed like
Heather O'Rourke staring at television static. Best of all, they transcend
the mind-numbing boredom that often accompanies music with similar
bloodlines, refusing to let their dedication to experimentation render
them soulless jackals satisfied with hitting the same pitch-bend effect
for minutes on end. They never stray too far from their six strings and
tom-toms, resulting in a taut taffy-pull of sound both sweet and tough to
chew through for the uninitiated.

Is Night People is one of those rare instances where its creators
can seem to do no wrong. They twist rusty doorknobs, kick in cracked
basement windows, and turn over rocks looking for creepy-crawlies. They
retreat to the canyonlands to bang out a crackling banshee beat, laughing
at their echoes and passing around a bottle of absynthe. They eat toast...
WITH MARMALADE; hell, you know what I mean, right playa? These boys have
it down. The production is perfect, not too murky, not too squeaky-clean,
and every composition, save possibly "#7" and its contrived wonky sax solo
(I'll take Dirty Walt's trombone solo on "Bar-X-The Rocking M" any day),
is brimming with enthusiasm, vigor, and resolve. Not to stilt their future
this early in the game, but it's going to be tough to top this one...

1. Brainloot
2. Uh-oh
3. Fluff Up Your Fur
4. Call Out Your Friends
5. Stamped From The Stump
6. The Canyon's Long Winding Words
7. The Great Horn of the Wilderness


Some releases are so incredible we just can’t help but exclaim EUREKA! While many of our picks here defy categorization and explore the constructed boundaries between ‘music’ and ‘noise,’ others complement, continue, or rupture traditions that provide new forms and ways of listening. Not all of our favorites will be listed here, but we think each EUREKA! album is worthy of careful consideration. This section is a work-in-progress, so expect its definition to be in perpetual flux.

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