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The Rah's are the best new band I've heard in a long time

The debut album from the East Lothian band is full of rock 'n' roll swagger and indie bangers. They're bound for bigger things, here's why you should be listening.

The opening words of The Rah's debut album When Does It Become Real? do a great job in getting the heart pumping. In a thick East Coast of Scotland brogue, frontman Jack McLeod declares:

"Now is the time. A time you'll look back on. A time you'll adopt as inspiration. You'll recollect this time. This moment. Right now. Motivate yourself towards success. Overcome, takeover. THE TIME IS NOW."

Quite the signal of intent to get us started. What follows on brilliant opening track 'The Time Is Now' is an explosive indie banger to fit the prologue and clarity that this Prestonpans band want you to sit up and take notice.

On 7 May, The Rah's released When Does It Become Real? and there's barely a dull moment to be had over the 41-minute debut record. Tracks like 'Our Design', 'Land of the Dreamers', and 'Sweet Lover' are energetic rock 'n' roll tunes with swagger in abundance.

The hooks are big, designed for singalong gigs and high-up festival slots. Personal favourite 'If You Never Try (You'll Never Know)' carries on the feel-good feel of opening track 'The Time Is Now'. Simply infectious rock 'n' roll which certainly left an immediate impression.

One thing that'll spring out quickly is just how aware they are of their 90s and 00s indie rock influences. 'She's Not' definitely has an air of mid-90s Suede and they'll easily find acclaim from the massive Oasis/Courteeners following.

The opening five tracks energetically flow through, before the band take the tempo down a couple of notches for 'Watch the World' and 'Thoughts', the latter of which builds and builds to an explosive climax. They pick up the pace again and before long the record is over and you're hitting start all over again.

Ok, so they may not be the most original band in the world, but putting it on one afternoon (after about a million recommendations...) to see what the fuss was all about, I certainly wasn't disappointed. Several listens in and I was joining the already growing cult following and encouraging others to get involved.

Their debut record was almost a decade in the making, funded on Kickstarter at the beginning of 2020's lockdown. In a press release, the band (vocalist Jack McLeod, lead guitarist Jordan McIntrye, drummer Neale Gray, bassist Lee Brown and keyboard/guitarist Jack Miller couldn't contain their excitement that they'd finally gotten the album over the line.

"The main feeling with the debut album finally being released is relief and sheer excitement. We’ve waited a long time for this moment, around the 10 year mark, since the original members formed the band so yeah it’s been a while. Dreamt about this moment from the start. It’s what we set out to do so a massive tick in the box!"

That fans stuck with the band over the years to help fund the record speaks volumes for the depth of feeling people have for them. They've already supported The View and The Fratellis and are onto bigger and better things, having reached the attention of the likes of Jack Saunders on Radio 1 and John Kennedy on Radio X. To add to that, they've already sold out venues such as Glasgow's Broadcast and Edinburgh's Sneaky Pete's on their upcoming UK tour.

It's not a surprise either. Here's a band that has the lot. Swagger, the tunes, big choruses, attitude.

Their time is now.


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