They were a part of the Earth since the Earth was Earth, when it had less girth but was full of mirth. They were the product of an eruption of great force, sent from the depths of the Earth's core to appease those that inhabit its surface, and to conquer their arts. They create music of vastly diverse influence, an amalgam of serene beauty and jazzy tranquility delivered with propulsive energy and sonic creativity. Their music is as excruciatingly difficult to adequately describe as it is pleasurably satisfying to experience; they are a self-contained zeitgeist. They are Rane.
Rane is a five-piece band, half lunatics and half maniacs. They are Alan (Fr. Noodles Devine), Bowman (World's Best Great-Grandma), Dan (The Euphoric One), Kurt (The Filthy Screwdriver), and Bryan (Random Letters, Numbers, and Symbols). They meld the sonic adventurousness of Radiohead, the eclecticism of Super Furry Animals, the erudite dynamics of Phish, the innovative approach to the pop song of mid-era XTC's, the sophistication of Steely Dan, the fearless structural complexity of Sonic Youth, the musicality of King Crimson, the atmospherics of Peter Gabriel, the percussion of Paul Simon, and the ambient tendencies of Berlin-era Bowie, all with an organic lyrical intensity.
Rane were dispelled from Mount Coltrane, and equaled one half of its mass, hence their name. They evolved out of base elements, with only their moxie to guide them (God wasn't old enough to help yet). For years, they were "One of the Two or Three Greatest Microbe-Derived Bands in the World," a viciously contended title. In time, there developed a rival band: the Banalities, fronted by the evil and vacuous Inventif B. Repht. The Banalities were a noxious band clearly inferior to Rane, but innocuously appealing to many, and somehow eclipsed Rane's popularity many times over. The Banalities are the antithesis of Rane: they sound like every band before them, mindlessly regurgitating their influences without any recognizable singularity. Rane, disgusted by what Inventif B. Repht and his growing contingent of disciples represented, departed the known world, vowing to destroy Inventif from beyond his influence. They departed and were drawn North, secluding themselves to an island they dubbed Tides. It was here they would embody the spirit of independent music.
From this island Rane write their own songs, record them in their own digital studio, and release them on their own record label. All the business of the band is conducted by the band's members. Anyone is welcome to visit Tides, and tape whatever you may hear them play. This island is completely self-sufficient, a manifestation of the autonomy which is exemplified in their music. It is here that they remain untarnished by our land, retaining their dignity and singular vision. They have released several albums from this island to our world, including three separate albums simultaneously in 2003. Now they reveal their latest work, Magnetic North. From the placid assuredness of "What It's For," to the shimmering alt.country jangle of "The Shark," it is an album brimming with masterful song writing and inventive playing. The title track in particular is an effortlessly catchy pop song with an uplifting tempo, precise musicianship, and imaginative structure. Magnetic North is a fully realized, emotionally resonant album, imbued with lucent imagery of life, love, and the freedom of the sea. It delivers a profound statement against the jejune, lifeless ethics of Inventif B. Repht.
Bowman's sonic myriad, Alan's melodic elegance, Dan's impeccably fluid basslines, Kurt's plethora of percussive sounds, and Bryan's air-tight beats are all weapons, employed with gusto to debilitate Inventif B. Repht and his disciples. Inventif's power weakens with every Rane album. Magnetic North is a potent assault that further puts him closer to destruction. Relentlessly Rane charges forward, continuing to epitomize the spirit of independent music, and always battling and upstaging Inventif B. Repht from afar, with as much force as if they were here among us.