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"Ashes Review"

Lead singer, Raman Kia has a very wide ranging and pleasing vocal style . It’s the slightest bit smoky and very emotional. Reminiscent of Coldplay, but has also sort of a Gregory Douglass feel sometimes too…on the higher notes anyway.

The music is all indie-pop with jangly guitars and swelling crescendos. Pleasing melodies and perfectly radio friendly. These songs are well written, catchy and make good use of the power of the crescendo and decrescendo. - Collected Sounds

"Ashes Review"

Ashes (Fear of Cheese Records) sophomore CD from Iran-born, London-raised Raman Kia, tenderly swaying in the emotive fields of Coldplay and The Church - RIver Cities Reader

"Ashes Review"

Buddahead's 2004 debut album, "Crossing The Invisible Line" gained them comparisons to the likes of Radiohead, Coldplay, etc… and with "Ashes," their sophomore effort, they seem to be on a mission to prove those critics right. Continuing with the trend set by the 2004 release, Iranian native Raman Kia lets his stories of heartbreak, drama, and the dark sides to every day life unfold before the listeners. Lyrically, while the subject matter tends to lean towards the darker sides of life, Kia makes it a point to craft the lyrics in such a way that they come across positive even when speaking of something negative that he has gone through. His voice, which is very reminiscent of Thom Yorke's, is the focal point that helps to bring the songs and the lyrics to life as the music is simply there to accompany his vocal throughout the album. However, the music does have its times where it seems to pick the perfect moments to hit you with a guitar driven assault as is evident in the chorus of "Brake" and the intro to "Burning Out." When everything comes together you get a very solid sophomore effort that is well worth a spin. - Guest List Magazine

"Passion thrives on some 2008 releases, lacks on others"

The band isn't unlike more mainstream acts like Dashboard Confessional or the All-American Rejects in their mellowness and pleading vocals, not to mention the lyrics of songs like "Ruin," which goes, "You drifted out of all society/ You don't know where you ought to be/ You hate your life; I can see/ Your eyes are crying out to me."

This ongoing string of emo anthems gets tiring after a few tracks, with few exceptions like "Sour Grapes," which is sulky, but also angsty, channeling The Mars Volta through Kia's vocals. - Pace Press

"Buddahead - Ashes"

The band is Buddahead, the album is Ashes, and the music is the kind of artistry that floats itself along a passionate sense of self containment.

Recorded in the wake of the band’s freshmen effort Crossing the Invisible Line, Ashes is the inspirational adventure of songwriter Ramen Kia’s ever maturing accounts of his youth. Born during the turmoil of a disheveled Iran, Kia’s music is continual evidence of the power of expression. Along with members Simon Gibson and Toby Ever, Buddahead’s Ashes has something that most of us find relatable.

Like a cloudy day, ‘Ruin’ begins the album with a somber style that will leave you pale in the face. Kia’s vocals sound weightless, creating an interesting contrast with his more grounded message; because the timbre is consistent however, the song progresses nicely with each individual stride onward. One of Ashes’ more beautiful tracks is its 7th greeting called ‘Rescue Us’. This song is close to the chest and is a poster boy for the album’s theme. It varies from the album’s other takes every so slightly because it is aloof yet comfortably spectral. Made from mostly acoustic strings and the right effects, Ria leads ‘Rescue Us’ to a place where you may be saved.

My favorite track from this album is ‘If I tried’. Not because it is anything musically exceptional or appealing but because of the way its contour seems to progress around all the right notes. It’s a simple song of motivation. It’s memorable and it’s motivating, it’s a beat, a melody, and a message that fire with the right kind of harmony.

This album is not without its faults. Ashes is at times lacking individualism and at other times over doing it. Undoubtedly the stories and the maturing tones from Buddahead are appraisable, but by the end of Ashe’s you may not be sure as to whether or whether not you’ve heard an album like this before. It does not sell itself completely because it too often straddles the places that other musicians have been before. Now some people may like that kind of teetering familiarity but from a critical perspective, its one way or the other.

Overall, Ashes’ is a good record from musicians who seem to have a good grasp of opaque sounds. It only disappoints because it lacks complete identity, although it is capable of it; thus is certainly not the best work from these extraordinary talents. Buddahead can be proud of this sophomore effort but they shouldn’t call it a careers’ achievement either. - Static Multi Media


Buddahead - EP, 2003
Buddahead - Crossing the invisible line, 2004
Buddahead - EP 2, 2007
Buddahead - Ashes, 2008



Buddahead’s Ashes, the trio’s second album, is at its heart the chronicle of a musical, geographical and emotional journey that frontman and songwriter Raman Kia found himself on, a thinly veiled life story that is as incendiary as it is cathartic. Look for Ashes to hit the street and Internet on June 17.

By any reckoning, Iranian native Kia has an extraordinary story to tell; he calls Ashes “music to lament to,” and he is only half-joking. As a small boy, he fled Tehran for London with his father, after witnessing up close the internecine violence of the Islamic Revolution. In the U.K., he was reintroduced to the mother he’d virtually never known, since she’d left Iran years before him, and he found himself placed in the strange, regimented environment of a British military school. As he grew up, the feelings that Kia was unable to articulate in words alone found expression in songs. He was so intuitively skilled at this creative channeling that he attracted the interest of a major London music publisher. As Kia built a repertoire, he decided to go to the United States in pursuit of his first record deal.

After making the rounds in New York City and Los Angeles, he signed a deal with Interscope Records. So far so good, but it wasn’t long before he discovered that the industry was more interested in molding him to suit the tastes of the moment than in exploring what he might really have to offer in his own right. One can understand why: Kia has an impressive, elastic vocal range, able to perform hushed ballads as eloquently as anthemic rockers.

As the powers that be tried to figure out how they wanted to present their find, Kia decided he would prefer to do it his own way. So he jettisoned the cadre of producers, mixers and constantly gear-shifting executives who surrounded him. He chose a tougher, more D.I.Y. approach to his fledgling career, touring relentlessly as a solo artist, opening for better-known acts. After meeting and working with bassist Toby Evers and Guitarist Simon Gibson, the trio began touring at an unrelenting pace, playing over 400 shows in less than two years. “It was on the road, in the crammed space of the tour van, that our new sound was formed and Buddahead was reinvented as a band”, says Gibson.

Their 2004 debut, Crossing The Invisible Line, barely hinted at the roiling emotions lying beneath their sleek surface and the truly dramatic stories Kia had yet to tell. Ashes changes all that. Surrounded by the darker musical influences of Gibson and Evers, Ashes are Kia’s stories as he wants to – has to – be heard. “Urgent but less desperate, Ashes is the amalgamation of a band that is growing up.”

Ashes has its origins in some of the darker moments of a few far-flung lives, yet these real-life scenarios connect in many tangible ways to our collective cultural and political history, and that makes them all the more powerful. In his lyrics, Kia doesn’t offer answers to the dilemmas he presents, yet in the very act of creating these songs, articulating these emotions, Kia makes Ashes an uplifting experience. His catharsis becomes our own. Gazing into the ashes of torched relationships, Kia discovers a spark of hope for us all.