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RAUSCH

Neo-Prog • United States


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Rausch biography
Founded in Philadelphia, USA in 2009

After devoting the better part of his early years to the piano, namesake frontman Doug Rausch earned his Ithaca College music degree - winning recognition as concerto competition finalist with Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue - & plunged straight into self-imposed exile. Disillusioned by how mainstream music had all but completely plateaued by the early 2000's - culminating in an eye-opening stint at Sony Music Studios - he found himself in a decade-long campaign chasing a long-held musical vision of his own.

RAUSCH caught his first compositional accolades when Jordan Rudess, keyboard wizard of Dream Theater, contacted him to perform in the very first KEYFEST; the invitation stemmed from a college demo that made its way into Jordan's hands. There, RAUSCH unveiled the 11-minute FLOW - only to reveal he was saving that for "Album #3." Meanwhile, he was hard at work in an attempt to craft the proper debut.

All these efforts attracted a kindred musical spirit in virtuoso guitarist Gary Wehrkamp, best known for his work with progressive rock titans Shadow Gallery. As Wehrkamp's invaluable musicianship helped put a cohesive stamp on the tracks - and mix-extraordinaire Rich Mouser (Neal Morse, Spock's Beard, Dream Theater) agreed to help deliver the baby - RAUSCH had everything in place to complete the long-awaited self-titled debut album (RAUSCH), released in late 2009. Leadoff single "No Fair" hit the top 10 on New Music Weekly's small-market radio charts, & the haunting "Ode to Pain" earned an honorable-mention nod from the 2010 International Songwriting Competition (ISC). Grammy-nominated producer David Ivory (The Roots, Halestorm) "discovered" the band, opening yet another door.

Applauding the ambition, Ivory's assertion that "'Bohemian Rhapsody' wasn't until Queen's fourth album" was as much a caution as it was a compliment. Via subsequent collaboration with Ivory, RAUSCH gained a hard-fought rite of passage, learning to flex a "commercial" muscle that would prove not mutually exclusive from the artistic one. In pursuit of uniting the best of both worlds, Doug briefly stepped away from the piano completely; first Ivory-produced track "Good Day" instead came through his guitar. To hold fans over, it was released as a standalone single in 2014 (with accompanying video directed by musical contemporaries in NYC's Jolly), and with that the band bought some much-needed time to put the finishing touches ...
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RAUSCH discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

RAUSCH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.95 | 2 ratings
Rausch
2009
3.86 | 9 ratings
Book II
2018

RAUSCH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

RAUSCH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

RAUSCH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

RAUSCH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

RAUSCH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Book II by RAUSCH album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.86 | 9 ratings

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Book II
Rausch Neo-Prog

Review by MHBoardman

4 stars Say this about Doug Rausch: he won't put out an album until he thinks it is just right. His first effort'entitled Rausch 'came out seven years after he graduated from Ithaca College. And his latest production, Book II, took eight years to reach public ears.

And after a few listens, I'll say that the wait was worth it.

Rausch continues to be a composer and musician of great depth and quality. He's one of those guys who hates the term 'prog,' and it's hard to cubbyhole the songs on Book II. They range from quasi-metal to singer-songwriter to Guns n' Roses hard rock and beyond.

Take for example 'Good Day.' It has a crunch reminiscent (to these ears) of Foreigner's 'Juke Box Hero.' It's rock, pure and simple and strong. Or 'The End,' a dirge-like piece about hopelessness and loss. 'Irked' features strong, muscular guitar work with a jazz piano interlude in the middle. 'Speechless' nods toward Dave Mustaine and Megadeth. And 'Swansong' is influenced by Axl Rose's band and their 'November Rain' (which Rausch says is one of his favorite pieces'not the usual statement from a prog artist, or whatever you'd like to call him).

But the highlight of Book II is 'Greener Grass,' a slice of pop heaven that alternately leans toward Ben Folds, Queen, ELO and others that I can't fully put my finger on. This is Doug Rausch fully realized, taking the sounds in his head and his experience and splashing them on the aural canvas. It is punchy and hummable but with some rhythmic and melodic twists and turns. Rausch won't call it prog, but it is excellent music'of whatever genre.

Now, let's turn to the lyrics. They are pretty uniform: get-the-razor-blades-out-and-slit-your-wrists-because-the-world- and-its-people-suck-and-there-is-no-hope. Seriously.

Take the operatic 'Greener Grass': You and me will die So what is this about They say enjoy the ride But how can I get out

I've seen what's over there Sorry but I don't care My painful memories All drowned in melodies Anticlimactic to see

And some of the other songs are even more depressing than that. Yes, there are a few rays of light. 'Swansong' repeatedly lifts up the phrase, 'We will rise again!' But in Doug's world, rising may get you back to ground level and not much further. Rausch says getting those words out is cathartic for him. What they are for you is'well, it's up to you.

But that doesn't take away from the performance. Rausch is a top-flight keyboardist, and he does a pretty fair job on acoustic and rhythm guitar. Drummer Steve Lerro and bassist Joe Fine keep a strong bottom line, propelling the music ahead without shading the emphasis on Rausch and the music. He also has excellent guest help from Spock's Beard keyboardist Ryu Okumoto and drummer Mark Zonder of Fates Warning.

And one can't ignore the hand of mixer extraordinaire Rich Mouser. The man who does such great work with The Neal Morse Band and other outfits adds his sheen and clarity to the sound, highlighting the sonic strengths of Rausch.

The key to the sound, though, is Gary Wehrkamp. The guitarist for Shadow Gallery is also an integral part of Rausch, and his playing gives muscle and bone to the music. Doug Rausch calls Wehrkamp his 'musical soul-mate,' and it's hard to argue with that. These songs would not be the same without this remarkable musician, who adapts to each piece with a versatility and artistry that are just breathtaking. Wehrkamp may not be well-known to at least some in the prog-rock community. Book II is a great introduction to him and what he can do. Gary Wehrkamp is a big-time talent who must be heard.

As does Rausch. You'll listen to this second album over and over again, discovering new layers each time. It is very enjoyable'suicide lyrics notwithstanding.

Doug says he's got 40 or 50 songs to choose from for the next album'and the one after that'and the one after that. I'm just hoping it doesn't take him another eight years to crank out the follow-up to Book II.

Released By: Doug Rausch Release Date: February 2, 2018 Genre: Progressive Rock (don't get mad, Doug).

Band Members:

' Doug Rausch / keyboards, acoustic and rhythm guitars, vocals ' Joe Fine / bass ' Steve Lerro / drums ' Gary Wehrkamp / guitars

'Book II' Track-Listing:

1. Greener Grass 2. Swansong 3. Drain 4. Irked 5. Good Day 6. The End 7. Time Out 8. Speechless 9. Slow Suite: II. Isolation

8.6 Excellent

Book II is an eclectic selection of songs from a songwriter of great talent and possibilities. In particular, 'Greener Grasses' and 'Good Day' show Rausch to be a guy/group that can grab attention and hold it'even when the lyrics are a big downer. The band's namesake is an excellent keyboardist who doesn't need pyrotechnics to make himself heard, and his vocals are evocative and plaintive. Guitarist Gary Wehrkamp takes the album from good to excellent. Rausch may be new to you; make him and it familiar.

Songwriting 8.2

Musicianship 9.4

Originality 9.0

Production 9.2

 Book II by RAUSCH album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.86 | 9 ratings

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Book II
Rausch Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Rausch the band is led by Doug Rausch (vocals, keyboards), and this is the second release (following on from the debut in 2010). The actual band line-up is completed by Joe Fine (bass), Gary Wehrkamp (guitar/bass) and Chris Ruffini (drums) while guests include Mark Zonder (Fates Warning), Ryo Okumoto (Spock's Beard) and guitarist Brendt Allman (Shadow Gallery) among others.

This is a bloody excellent album, one that I have enjoyed playing a great deal, yet I'm not sure if it is ever going to gain the kudos it deserves. Musically it has a lot in common with City Boy, Queen and 3rd Degree with plenty of piano-based soft melodic prog rockers which are real songs, that are stacked full of commercial riffs and great vocals. I've even found myself singing some of the songs from the album around the house, something that happens incredibly rarely. It doesn't seem to matter which track I am listening to, as whatever one that is, is definitely my favourite of the moment. This is a truly superb album which will appeal to lovers of all type of melodic music as they switch from bombastic rock to acoustic guitar into something more rocky then let piano take control and drive it all along. This truly is a wonderful album that makes me smile each and every time I play it, and isn't that sometimes all we need?

 Rausch by RAUSCH album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.95 | 2 ratings

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Rausch
Rausch Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars US composer and keyboardist Doug RAUSCH made his initial foray into the world of recording artists in 2009, choosing his surname as band moniker and album title. A production several years in the making, with a lot of blood, sweat and tears shed along the way, judging by the liner notes brief description of excruciating birth pangs.

Doug Rausch is a guy I expect to hear a lot from in the coming years. In interviews and statements of his I've seen, it is clear that he has a strong passion for sophisticated rock in general and progressive rock in particular. And while this initial album may not be a shining piece of prog perfection, it is a diverse and well-made production. I'd suggest fans of '70s Queen as a probable core audience, but the perfect crowd for this disc would be someone able to appreciate good mainstream-oriented music as well as art rock. In my opinion, that is. Overall, a promising start for a young composer and musician who should have a long and fruitful career ahead of him.

Thanks to RAUSCH for the artist addition. and to dAmOxT7942 for the last updates

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