Ravens Ballroom are a rock trio based in Livingston, NJ. The band is composed of Matt Ravens on guitar and vocals, Simi Ravens on bass and vocals, and Jon Rosenbaum on drums. Rain Dance is their debut album and features seven tracks, including a radio edit of their song “L’anima.” This radio edit cuts the original song down from nearly seven minutes to just over four. The vocal harmonies provided by Matt and Simi work well together on “L’anima.” It brings about a nice contrast that is also heard with the bass and guitar parts. Containing many different sections, this cut reminds me of psychedelic rock at its best. “Riptide,” the album opener, was the first time I got to listen to this band. Matt’s vocals are as strong as Simi’s, who provides tremendous backup vocals.
The highlight of the release is “Paper Doll Lou.” Simi and Matt continue to display their brilliant chemistry as they both provide vocal harmonies throughout the chorus. It also has a great groove as the guitar stands out over the drums and bass. The guitars are strong on “Hold Me Down,” which features picked chords over a variation of drumbeats. A cymbal/snare beat holds down the rhythm as a fantastic and melodic guitar solo is played, and the depth of skill in this song is great.
Ravens Ballroom are a local rock band that has produced a very solid disc with Rain Dance. I enjoy giving local bands a listen, and it is great to see the hard work they put in, the work that they create, and seeing them develop over time. I am looking forward to what Ravens Ballroom have in store next.
In A Word: Strong