Reviews

Sons of Raphael
Full Throated Messianic Homage

(Because)

7/10

The title of this first full-length from West London duo Sons of Raphael suggests little interest in doing things by halves, and comes complete with a frequently preposterous and occasionally dubious backstory that veers from The Exorcist (they were run out of the chapel where they filmed the video for ‘Eating People’ and denounced as devil worshippers) to Uncut Gems (they staked this record’s entire budget on a basketball game, won, and promptly spent the take on drafting in a 35-piece orchestra).  

Clearly capable of talking the talk, Full Throated Messianic Homage also suggests a capacity for walking the walk, playing like a woozy whistle-stop tour through the last decade or so or off-kilter psych-pop. ‘On Dreams That Are Sent by God’ recalls Wondrous Bughouse-era Youth Lagoon, while the spectre of MGMT’s Congratulations hangs heavy throughout, especially on ‘He Who Makes the Morning Darkness’. It is unquestionably indulgent, and occasionally a sharper editor would have worked wonders – ‘Let’s All Get Dead Together’ is a pace-killer – but there’s always room for a couple more genuine characters in this corner of this musical world. Sons of Raphael have started strongly, both looking and sounding the part.

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