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Makin Waves Song of the Week: "Cruel Cruel Cruel" by Rachel Ana Dobken

By Bob Makin

originally published: 10/13/2023

Makin Waves Song of the Week: "Cruel Cruel Cruel" by Rachel Ana Dobken

“Cruel Cruel Cruel,” the most recent single and video from the multi-hyphenated talent of Asbury Park songstress Rachel Ana Dobken, is the Makin Waves Song of the Week. PHOTO BY HOWL PEAK PRODUCTIONS

Asbury Park-based singer-songwriter-guitarist-drummer Rachel Ana Dobken just dropped a new video for her latest single, “Cruel Cruel Cruel.”

Co-produced by RAD and the great Erik Kase Romero (The Front Bottoms, Lorde), “Cruel Cruel Cruel” is the Makin Waves Song of the Week. 

As the Makin Waves Song of the Week, “Cruel Cruel Cruel” also can be heard between 6 and 8 p.m. on Oct. 13 on “Radio Jersey” at If you miss it, you can tune in any time in the archives at The Penguin and MixCloud.

“‘Cruel’ is about the frustrations in knowing that you and a certain someone love each another, but the other person has decided to shut you out,” RAD said. “One day while dealing with the emotional fall out from said situation, I was showering and heard the hook as a complete melodic/lyrical thought: ‘Cruel, Cruel, Crueeeel, the way you looove to disappoint me.’ Then in the next breath, the verse/chorus.

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“The groove in particular is punk rock, but it’s swung with a VERY specific pocket, as I am very intentional about this in all my songs,” she continued. “Bassist Dan Haase added to this with his particularly groovy bass-lines. I always heard these searing Thin Lizzy-eqsue guitarmonies on the chorus, and with Erik Rudic’s collaboration, we were able to get that beautifully. Romero and I were very intentional on the song’s tones, including thick, slightly thrashy drum sounds, and ripping, spooky, delay-drenched guitars, which lean into the slight left-of-center, atonal nature of the verse leading to the big pay off of the chorus … so catchy!”

With an intro engineered by Paul Ritchie (gods, Parlor Mob), a mix by Kyle Joseph (Dave Raskin, Justin Bloom) and mastering by Grammy winner Alan Douches, “Cruel Cruel Cruel” is as venomous a song as the video is fun.

Set in a skateboard park, the clip was directed by Nicholas Adam Wolf of Howl Peak Productions, which also has worked with such popular local acts as Ella Ross, Pamela Flores, Baron Praxis, and Mercury Brothers. In the video, RAD sings, strums, drums and even skates, while Erik and Dan perform alongside her as skaters ride by them.

“I always had loved the concept of shooting this song at a skate park for multiple reasons,” RAD said. “One, I felt it really fit the melodic and fast-paced energy of the song. And two, I grew up surrounded by surfing and skating, and it has always been something that inspired me. We got lucky and shot this on a perfect day, and at a location barely touched by time, so it gives this nostalgic feeling while also leaving the audience wondering where we are? Is it CA? NJ? It gives you the warmth and excitement that feels like a summertime daydream. I wanted to get in there and rip it up both with the skaters and by playing. Hope you enjoy it.”

RAD also will rip it up Oct. 27 at Sleepwalk in New York City and Oct. 29 at The Green Growler in Croton-on-the-Hudson, N.Y. An album entitled “Acceptance” is planned for early 2024, as is a Jan. 20 show at World Cafe Live in Philly. The LP will mark her second following 2018’s “When It Happens to You,” as well as two EPs since 2013.

For more about RAD, check out

Bob Makin has produced Makin Waves since 1988. Follow Makin Waves on Facebook and contact Bob at

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