Simon Vozick-Levinson
August 19, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Rhumb Line

Current Status
In Season
Indie Rock

We gave it an A-

Ra Ra Riot’s debut album The Rhumb Line charges out of the gate with ”Ghost Under Rocks,” a bass-and-cello-driven outburst whose urgency recalls Unforgettable Fire-era U2. Two tracks later, ”St. Peter’s Day Festival” proves them equally adept at sighing balladry. Founding member and drummer John Pike co-wrote both of those tunes, along with three others. His accidental death before the disc’s recording gives them all a distinctly bittersweet tinge. But the upstate New York quintet’s assured performances act as a suitable memorial. A-
DOWNLOAD THIS: Listen to ”Ghost Under Rocks” on the band’s MySpace page

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