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Warm Rain - Back Above the Clouds

Warm Rain
Back Above the Clouds
by Jack Harding at 10 July 2019, 5:09 PM

Music, as with all art forms, can be incredibly personal. Technically, something can be incredibly proficient. On paper, a work of art can seem flawless, yet that cannot undermine a gut feeling. A reflex; Something devoid of thought, merely formed from instinct. Whilst I cannot deny WARM RAIN’s sheer talent and craftsmanship, something leaves your humble reviewer disconnected. I reach out for a deeper experience, but am left floating in tranquil space. Indeed, in an environment of sheer beauty, but lacking the edge to grip ahold of and find footing on solid ground.

Musically, WARM RAIN evoke all of the fondest memories of British Progressive Rock from years past. From early GENESIS, to PINK FLOYD, and even to more recent fare such as PORCUPINE TREE, Folk and Soft Rock are weaved together tenderly. Tracks such as “I Should Be Seeing Stars By Now,” “Metamorphosis,” and  “A Hundred Miles High” showcase WARM RAIN at their finest. Heartbreaking Folk passages, with melancholic clean guitars, accompanied by passionately performed poetic lyricism. Mournful, yet somehow optimistic musical embraces, perfectly topped off with emotive and expressive soloing. David Gilmour would definitely be proud.

These softer passages are sublime, and WARM RAIN know it. Unfortunately, on an album that runs 1 hour and 30 minutes, I personally need more. These quiet moments are fantastic, but after an hour of them, quietness becomes the new standard. Unfortunately this means these iridescent moments are dimmed. Throughout the record, variety is hinted at, but never truly executed. Songs such as “Absent Friends” and “Fading Star,” hint towards rockier pastures, but never fully delve into these plains. A much needed factor of grit, and dynamic change in the album as a whole, is teased, but not fully executed. An interesting case study for this is with the album’s sole cover song, “Here Comes The Rain Again,” originally by EURHYTHMICS. The original song begins by creating a sonic landscape, perfectly combining synths with strings. Then for the verse the song progresses to a more typical Rock feel, then changing yet again with a dance-like chorus. Whilst WARM RAIN’s cover certainly reinterprets this first element, it doesn’t develop anywhere near as much as the original song. This is despite an increase in length of roughly 2 and a half minutes. Sure there are are distorted guitars for the chorus, but the general feel is the same thing they’ve been doing for the entire album. It’s a great spiel, don’t get me wrong, but even a masterpiece like  “The Godfather” becomes boring if you watch it 53 times in a row.

WARM RAIN have practically weaponized the melancholic with this release. Beauty is ever-present, though is stretched thin by its biblical length. This is a fantastic debut record for a very promising Progressive Rock band, but one that does need some editing. Whilst I might not be entirely enamored with this particular release, Warm Rain have certainly made a statement. This album might not be an all time classic, but the next one definitely could be.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Fading Star
2. Absent Friends
3. Running Out Of Time
4. Alone In Silent Harmony
5. I Should Be Seeing Stars By Now
6. New Dawn
7. Metamorphosis
8. Here Comes The Rain Again
9. A Hundred Miles High
10. Live The Dream
11. Free Now
12. Flying Dreams
13. Absent Friends (Reprise)
14. Luminous Star (More Than A Memory)
15. Equilibrium
Lineup:
Leon J Russell - Vocals And Acoustic Guitars
Simon Bradshaw - Bass Guitar And Keyboards
Steve Beatty - Drums And Percussion
Matt Lerwill - Electric Guitar, Classical Guitar, Sitar, Ukulele And Mandolin
Record Label: Independent
     


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