Album Review: Ravenna Woods -The Jackals

Ravenna Woods - The Jackals, released November 2013

It’d been awhile since anyone heard from the band Ravenna Woods. I was asked to write an article on their new album, and all that went through my head was: “If this is just another alternative country pop release the worlds coming to an end and the barrel of my 45 downstairs might be the tasty answer.”..........but I didn’t want to kill myself after I gave it a listen.
The last I had heard of them was when they were on tour with Hey Marseilles. (I thought it was a great fit.) That was also in 2011 and I didn’t hate that Mumford & Sons sound so much. Alot has changed since then, and Ravenna Woods is keeping right up with it. They’ve become a dark sweeping acoustic almost horror-esque band. That being said I think this newest release from them “The Jackals” is split into two parts. Part one is the first 10 songs, and part two is the rest.
Part one: It’s an extreme evolution from their prior album. It took the sound that had already given them a name and added to it. Making it much darker sweeping epic acoustic/electric feel. on top of that raw tightly picked acoustic guitar. The new sound became a much better frame for their fairly dark melancholic lyrics. That sound, and are reminiscent of that dark new-wave stuff I heard growing up. I think it’s a much better fit.
Part two: This starts with a song called Kenya… It was a huge mood shift. With light uplifting guitars and some piano and cello. Then the horns came in, and all I thought was: “This could be a very succesful song.” Easily I pictured the name on a top 40 chart. After that came 3 more songs all sounding just as well crafted and melodic in that way that just speaks to larger audiences.
Although I’m not the most avid listener of this kind of music many of my friends in colleges across the country are, and I’ll be passing the band name forward to all of them.
So if you end up reading this Ravenna Woods: I hope there’s a bright, brilliant, and famous future ahead for you guys. Best of luck!

Review by Josh Craig