Haven’t we heard this before? | SummitDaily.com

Haven’t we heard this before?

Jason Starr

Maybe there’s something in the water in Burlington, Vt., or in the wind that races off Lake Champlain. Or maybe Phish’s presence in the city is just that overwhelming.Whatever the reason, Burlington’s RAQ, which plays Sherpa & Yeti’s in Breckenridge on Wednesday, has appropriated Phish’s sound, right down to the gimmicky endings of some songs on RAQ’s album, “Shed Tech.”The lineup? The same – guitar (Chris Michetti), keyboards (Marc Scortino), bass (Jay Burwick) and drums (Greg Stukey). Chord changes, solo style, time signatures, vocal harmonies, even sound effects all seem to be lifted from Phish.If you like Phish, you might enjoy “Shed Tech,” if you can look past how blatantly unoriginal it is. Really, RAQ would better serve by just being a tribute band. It would do a stellar job with Phish’s songs.Then again, even if the style is nearly identical, the foursome did take the time to write original lyrics and compose their own pieces. That has to count for something. And they are talented musicians – it would take nothing less to approximate Phish’s sound. In all, the album is good, but that’s beside the point.The band is foolish enough, on the final track, “Welcome To The Donkey Show,” to utter the lyric: “Here’s something you’ve never seen before, it’s guaranteed to satisfy.”Sure, it’s said in a sort of farcical song, but we have seen it before, and it’s already proven to satisfy hundreds of thousands of Phish fans.On the positive side, instrumentals “Verde Burro” and “Confuzor” are captivating and delve into calypso, Latin and reggae themes.”Tunnel Vision” is a slight departure from the rest of the album, with its Beatles-esque lyrics and disco (that’s right, disco) feel.Lyrically, “Hot Wired” stands out, even though there’s no discernible rhyme scheme, and “Weakling” shows some power: “She just f** me over and now I know the meaning of trust.”Hey, Phish would never say that.

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