So, Raiju knew their second album had to top all expectations. Feeling this pressure and the burdens of their stuffy "square" jobs slowed down the writing process and caused a kind of creative clog in the ranks. So many ideas began flowing from all corners that the band had to develop an incredibly intensive, detailed, corporate-style (gasp!) workflow for their writing process out of sheer necessity. Patience was tested. Song files were labeled and categorized. Options were presented, itemized and deliberated upon. Tasks were delegated. Massive spreadsheets were compiled - no single note or issue was too small not to identify and bring to a full-band vote, hundreds of items at a time, in a painful display of democracy. Gone were the teenage days of garage-jamming, guessing and hoping for the best. This album became too important to risk overlooking any little thing. Too much was now at stake. During the recording process, engineer Zack Ohren observed, "I've never worked with a band that has spreadsheets and flowcharts to the extent that you guys do…that looks exhausting." Oh boy, is it ever. But from the fires of this organized agony sprung ten razor-sharpened songs, formed into a beastly sophomore release the band has dubbed "Non Sequitur", which aims to push the band's hypothesis even further. The tempos will increase. The brights will get brighter. The darks will get darker. These tracks have been painstakingly lab-tested to bring a smile to the face and a tear to they eye of any listener, be they a teenage Chon fan or a grey-haired Dio fan.
Now, more than ever, Raiju is growing and becoming unabashedly themselves. The band seeks a more profound kind of fun that celebrates all of life, not just the comfortable parts. This isn't another shallow mess of songs about money and drugs, nor is it just heavy for heaviness's sake. Here is a band that mixes playful cheers for the good times with fearless war-cries to confront the bad times. Here are life's hardest lessons delivered with a gentle hand, and our most subtly ingrained deceptions smacked to the floor and shattered violently. It is a freakish mix, an active car crash, an insoluble duality…but then again, aren't we all? Come along.
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