This year's Relay for Life, to be held this Saturday in Kuhl Gymnasium, will be home for a day to the kindred advocates for the fight against cancer, including a multi-geared rock band with a unique name and mission.
The Voodoo Ragdollz, based out of Syracuse, have been a part of Relay For Life for two years. Offered the gig after playing in the Baldwinsville Battle of the Bands, the Ragdollz saw an opportunity to work for something bigger than a fan base. This year proves to be no different, as the band has committed to donate all sales of their new CD, Strung Out, to the Relay for Life organization.
Singer/guitarist Charles Marlowe was enthusiastic about playing at the Relay. To Marlowe, it is about the "new faces" that he is able to connect with. At their normal scene (house parties and high schools), the Ragdollz run into disconnected people who care more about getting their buzz and listening to repetitive covers than hearing the true sound of the band: blazoned and versatile and hinged on harder thrash sounds, but capable of escaping into ska-pop synchronization just as easily. Emulating their influences, most notably Nirvana and Sublime, the Ragdollz provide a love for '90s grunge/alternative that has been pushed out of the rock scene during this decade. Their passion for a good cause and expectancy to play their own originals is reason alone to support them on Saturday.
The two constant members of the band, Marlowe and his brother, Andrew, come from a background in music that is dormant in their band's sound. Andrew played the violin before taking up the drums and Charles is currently pursuing a major in classical piano. This sort of duality is what allows the Marlowe boys to have a successful sound.
"You never want to stay in the same place" said Charles, in regards to the band's musical progression, but it applies to their musical livelihood as well.
When Saturday comes and groups of participants are lapping the gym, The Voodoo Ragdollz will play them around with grunge, gusto and glee. If you like them, after their set, thank them. They will be more than thrilled to hear their music is appreciated and their cause is a worthy one. As they look to branch out of the Syracuse area, who knows where the band might end up next?