RAMONA: DEALS, DEALS, DEALS!: CD

Three years since their EP Sad Brunch, Ramona hits us with a proper full length. Every time I see them play I just think, “This is the best band.” Their song titles are choice: “Panama by Van Halen,” “Shit, We Broke Up,” “Hater’s Ball Parade.” Always a good indicator that the lyrical content is gonna be solid. They pull no punches, they inspire emotion, they are acutely self-aware and intentional. Each song has a clarity to the vocals that really cuts through their anthemic builds in a big way. The drums sound so full, yet not overpowering. The bass strikes a sweet balance between rhythm and melody, while the guitar brightly shines just underneath the vocals which are front and center. Songs are about love and avoiding it, self acceptance, tokenism, and introspection. I just can’t get enough of the dance they do with vulnerability and strength. “Are We Having Fun Yet?” talks about the fear of letting someone in and being used instead of supported. They ask “Can you deal with me when I’m just ok / be with me when I’m just ok / what the fuck’s the point of only being ok?” It’s a thoughtful “what if” scenario that plagues anyone in any relationship, especially those prone to overanalyzing everything. But it’s “Getting There” that crushes me every time. I always want to be the loudest in the room when singing along to this one and don’t care how badly my voice might crack. It’s such a raw look at how depression shapes our minds and ability to socialize. Because—as they shout through the speakers—we’re only as stable as our last breakdown. Ramona is the spiritual and musical medium that we all need in this world. –Kayla Greet (Red Scare)