Music » Livewire

Ra Ra Riot

With the Virgins. Thursday, January 31, at the Grog Shop, Cleveland Heights.



Six songs are hardly enough to get a grasp on a group. But that's all the Syracuse-based Ra Ra Riot has released so far. The six-piece indie-pop band formed in 2006, but a lot has happened since then. It released a self-titled EP, toured with Tokyo Police Club, and blew away festivalgoers at both South by Southwest and CMJ last year. Its ear-catching string section has even netted comparisons to indie darlings Arcade Fire. All this sounds great, but it hasn't been all good news: Last June, the group's drummer drowned, halting Ra Ra Riot's momentum for the rest of the year. Whether or not the title of its best song, "Dying Is Fine," is eerily prescient or just plain depressing is for you to decide.

Either way, the infectious tune jumps around like a hyperactive poodle, restrained only by the disconcertingly pure pull of the violin that weaves in and out of the song. It's like a grown-up — and much better — version of Yellowcard. Ra Ra Riot is back on the road, "moving people physically and mentally as a means of effecting positive micro/macrocosmic change" — or so they say. Ignore the pretension, and dance away to the grooves.

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