Rainbreakers | Rise Up
(Photo credit: Mark Lloyd)
Rainbreakers are full of surprises. There’s only so much four men can do across five songs with just guitar, bass, drums, and vocals, but every time you think you’ve got the band all figured out, their music takes an unexpected turn.
It all begins with a psychedelic guitar riff embellishing the vintage blues rock of opener ‘On My Own’. And as Ben Edwards sings about the realisation that no relationship is better than a destructive one, the song settles into a comfortable groove – until lead guitarist Charlie Richards throws down a hot-blooded solo that transforms the song into something all the more urgent.
More change is afoot on ‘Rise Up’. A protest song with a take the power back message for the post-Brexit, post-Trump world, it begins as blissed-out soul, with subtle guitar licks, sensitive drumming from Sam Edwards, and Peter Adams’ nimble bassline – before a scorched earth solo and soaring vocal herald a grittier, more impassioned conclusion characterised by the frontman belting out the refrain “The good times are coming around.”
The same is not true of ‘Waiting On You’, a forlorn ballad that continues the soul vibe but filters it through a dreamy, ethereal gauze. And yet, there’s a characteristic change along the way – the blues rock middle eight reveals a flash of anger as Edwards paints the picture of a relationship’s unfulfilled or broken promises.
‘Perception’, in turn, is far more optimistic, while revealing yet another side of the Shrewsbury quartet. Channeling the likes of The Zombies, Funkadelic, and early Pink Floyd over an hypnotic groove, this is ‘60s psychedelia telling a tale of falling completely in love.
But it’s closer ‘Living Free’ that best showcases the full breadth of the Rainbreakers experience. Beginning as a classic R&B drum-led shuffle, it gradually transforms into a desperate blues lament, before exploding into an all-out rock finale featuring Richards’ most incendiary solo. The song, and EP, conclude with little more than Edwards’ voice and a slowly strummed guitar, perfectly reinforcing the element of surprise running through this collection.