Bag Raiders is Chris Stracey and Jack Glass. The self-proclaimed concrete-slash-jam-band Aussies use piano, some electric guitar, synthesizers, drum machines and some dreamy vocals to create their own unique sound. The guys have had a few EPs drop since 2007 and have just released their first self-titled LP.
This album wastes no time warming up. I’ve been sick the last couple days and 30 seconds into hearing “Castles in the Air” my head felt like it was on a pogo stick, bouncing all about the room. To me, that’s a good thing. I’m always amazed at how quickly music has the power to completely alter your state. I imagine the echoing harpsichord (2:01) in this song to be the uncontrollable laughter that raptures you as you fully give in to the playfulness of this track.
“Sunlight” takes the phrase “you’re beaming” and runs to the moon with it… or better yet, the sun. Picture the person that makes you literally light up when you see them. Or maybe reflect upon a memory you have of that glowing smile on a loved one’s face that’s forever burned into your memory. Now hold onto that feeling. Got it? That feeling is this song. I picture Mother Nature dancing about, ringing out the sun like a wet cloth and dousing worthy humans with fresh drops of sunlight.
Next is “Shooting Stars.” Need I even comment on this one? I think not.
“Snake Charmer” is one of the sickest jungle-house jams I’ve ever heard. First you are awakened in your captive gourd by the steady beat of the xylophone. You try to resist becoming powerless to the rhythm but the added sound of the pungi reed pipe is too much. The snare is your hiss as you writhe in full surrender to the beauty of the music. You are the snake, and this song is the hypnotic charmer.
Bag Raiders have pulled out some pretty incredible goodies from their bag of tricks. Pardon the cheesy pun, I couldn’t help it. This album will take you backwards in time with slivers of disco and 80s house, into the future with the sounds of technology, to the far reaches of the planet and solar system, and most importantly deep into the imagination of your own mind. If you haven’t gotten your music loving paws on this album yet then you’re missing the boat on some great tunes. Have fun with this one, I know I sure did.