The relentless American value that positivity and hard work can sweep aside all economic, social and political hardships; not to mention counter any underlying nepotism or snobbery that binds people to their actual life realities, was rigorously challenged by a certain Seattle movement of the early 90s. For a while, like punk before it, and the hippy movement before that, it looked like a dent could actually be made in the invisible glass frame that surrounds society. Music really could change the world and not just be a catalyst allowing liberal privileged kids to sit around talking about cultures they didn’t understand.
The perils of drugs and commerce put an end to grunge however; as they had with punk before it and those goddam hippies before that. The continued tradition of music not learning from its past rumbled on.
Twenty-five years on from grunge and not much has changed; sure the world has gotten smaller yet technology hasn’t set us free as it promises to and the glass ceiling remains. For some that ceiling translates into awful daily struggles to find the essentials, whilst for others, like me, it manifests into banal first world problems.
Say what you like about grunge, and let’s be honest, it ended badly, it’s intention was always pretty spot on. Social activism, equality and the destruction of consumerism for its own sake, the grungers stood for solid causes and made steep inroads into awaking the public consciousness around unjust and hypocritical ideologies.
Though not entirely grunge in style, Raveneye play with the type of charisma and intensity which led to grunge moving from playing underground clubs to filling out stadiums within 2 years. Using boundless energy they attack the stage with a Clash-like inability to stand still; a stagecraft which cleverly drives the crowd’s attention to the messages of their songs- themselves grunge in their themes of educating yourself, exposing your own truth and sticking the finger to injustices.
If the Ravens MO is to turn up at a show, knock the shit out of it, inspire an audience, then stick around and integrate themselves with their crowd, then they do it well.
Both positive and grounded in reality you need to see these lot in the two years you have until they’re playing stadiums.