Music Review: The Rah’s – The Common Ground

Written by: Alex Nova


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The Rah’s

The Common Ground


Common Ground is Scottish indie rockers The Rah’s follow up to their crowd funded debut album When Does It Become Real – released back in 2021. Difficult second album? It certainly doesn’t feel that way…

As soon as you hit play on this album, you’re greeted with the warm, fuzzy, throbbing swells of the Numan-esque synth that forms the intro to Do I Need It. My interest was certainly piqued, and then bang – the track really gets going with an infectious synth riff accompanied by huge guitars. As the verse approaches and Jack’s vocals saunter in you’re left in no doubt what you’re in for for the next 45 minutes or so – the band cite the Arctic Monkeys as an influence, and that’s here in spades but with a modern edge. This track is a real statement of intent. I’ve Never Been Wrong quickly follows and establishes the bands Indie Rock credentials with a biting riff from the band’s guitarist Jordan. It’s the second single released ahead of this album and it’s got a real groove to it. The other single from the album is up next, Blood For Gold, driven along by Lee’s filthy bass and filled out with some fantastic surfy, swampy guitars. The BVs are incredibly catchy, and the foot stomping breakdown and octave-fuzz guitars will no doubt make this a live favourite. Intrusive Thoughts starts with an almost fairground-like keys hook – before the sexy bass and drums swagger in – this track is dripping in sex appeal with its laid back groove. And Jordan’s fuzz drenched guitar solo … well, it’s full of soulful attitude and that’s a very big yes from me. The band has really hit their stride here – they’ve got all the indie credentials of their peers, but with a great polished grown up sound. Walk and Departure bring us to the halfway point on this album and both have that filthy groove to them – special mention here to the absolutely huge sounding drums provided by Neale throughout the album, but certainly of note and sounding particularly massive on Departure.

…absolutely filled with the swagger and confidence of a band who knows what they’re all about…

The next track, Waiting For Tomorrow brings everything down for a minute as Jack (Miller)’s synths and toylike piano washes over you. Very immersive and very good production values. Money Tree is another cracker of a track in the vein of the Arctic Monkeys. This is followed up by possibly my favourite track on this album – Adopting Changes. Starting off with the crackle of vinyl, the beautiful keys and reverb drenched guitars entice you in, with Jacks lyrics really tugging at your heartstrings. This song swirls around you and is reminiscent of Pink Floyd in that sense – definitely the opus in this collection. You don’t have much time to admire the beauty though, before Jordan’s broken, spitty, fuzzy lead of When We Say Nothing comes snarling in, huge riffs, and then Neale and Lee bringing the building rhythm up to another big sing along anthemic chorus. Out in Time provides the album’s acoustic track, with a heartfelt vocal and some very pretty slide guitar as the track builds. Closing song Crawling lulls you into a false sense of security before blooming into an absolutely massive song – a great last track choice.

Overall, this Common Ground is absolutely filled with the swagger and confidence of a band who knows what they’re all about. They wear their influences firmly on their sleeve and have really grown since their debut album. The musicianship is excellent and the songwriting is great. This record was recorded with producer Al Groves – and you can tell. The production values are exceptional, and the sonic quality of all of the songs here really is something special. I’d wager that the drums were recorded in the live room at Al’s Motor Museum Studio – because they’re epic! And if they weren’t…then I’m very impressed. The package of the album as a whole is excellent.

If you like your indie with a dirty groove and an up to date edge, then you’ll love The Common Ground. It’s available on all streaming platforms now.



Check out The Rah’s on their social pages:







Band Members

Jack McCleod – Lead Vocals & Guitar

Jordan McIntyre – Lead Guitar and Vocals

Lee Brown – Bass

Neale Gray – Drums

Jack Miller – Keyboards & Acoustic Guitar

Track Listing

  1. Do I Need It
  2. I’ve Never Been Wrong
  3. Blood For Gold
  4. Intrusive Thoughts
  5. Walk
  6. Departure
  7. Waiting For Tomorrow
  8. Money Tree
  9. Adopting Change
  10. When We Say Nothing
  11. Out In Time
  12. Crawling
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