Sons Of Raphael – Full-Throated Messianic Homage

A four-part hymn to life, death, sin, love and resurrection.

Label: Because Music
Released: 21st May 2021


A debut record that has been seven years in the making, one that is described by the West London duo, namely Ronnel and Loral Raphael, as a four-part hymn to life, death, sin, love and resurrection. Angels and devils pop up, as well as a bit where someone says his daddy was a rattlesnake. Quick someone, sound the nonsense alarm! 

Look, there’s no hiding that you’ve got to be tuned into this frequency for *anything* here to make much sense. As in thrall to the CAPITAL LETTERS BIG psych-pop of Brian Wilson, as it is to the otherworldly vibes of Tame Impala, some of it is like wandering into an 80s retro version of futuristic sci-fi. It’s lush, it’s cinematic, it’s absolutely baffling, it’s bold, some of it’s awful, at times, it’s totally and utterly unhinged. Honestly, it is hard to know what’s going on half the time.

It’s the kind of record that you’ll know whether you love or despise within about two minutes. When it works, like on ‘Devil Devil’, the sparks do coalesce into something special, and you can see what they were grasping for. But while you’ve got to applaud the absolute single-minded nature and ambition of vision that this debut represents, a little bit too much falls into the ‘this is nonsense and not the good type’ camp for it to really land consistently. If you want more than a hint of madness with your music, though, then dive in.

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