Lewis Norman reviews the Bath band’s latest offering and is happy with what he hears…
There was once a time when I thought that we would never see decent blues-rock in the UK ever again. The US has been dominated by huge bands such as the White Stripes and Black Keys but the UK has never been able to replicate the same success as these giants of blues-rock.
Or is it? Could we see a new revolution in the form of these boys from Bath? The answer to that is yes we most definitely can for the long awaited Under the Volcano is one of the most exciting debuts I have listened for a very long time. Every single track on the LP swelters with huge riffs and belted choruses. Stand out track Pushing It is defined by a criminally catchy overdriven riff that was made for jamming on the air guitar too.
But is this as good as it gets: replicated jams that are instantly forgettable? On some of the weaker tracks, maybe. However, there are enough innovative songs on this album that suggest that the trio still have a lot to offer. Trust me… I’m a Genius starts off with an eerie piano line that immediately encapsulates the listeners attention and explodes like bluesy atomic bomb into a powerful chorus. As you will know from Music Editor Josh Gray’s article a few weeks back, this comes across in their live performances which – if you haven’t seen them before – are a must-attend occasion.
Unfortunately, the album is by no means flawless. The Family Rain don’t seem to be able to pull off slow songs as effectively as their more upbeat ones. Don’t Waste Your Time achieves very little apart from being very boring and uninspiring. Luckily it leads into the darkly sexy Reason to Die, Under the Volcano’s bourbon-soaked highlight.
Have the Family Rain proved themselves to be as good as their idols? Not yet – but there is a lot in Under the Volcano to suggest that they could be one day. The Family Rain remind me of an early White Stripes, steadily finding their feet in a difficult genre, but showing signs that they could mature into something great. They promise to be one of the UK’s best blues-rock bands in an age where they are overshadowed by their US counterparts.
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