Saturday, March 4, 2017

Rainbreakers - Rise Up EP

If you like the opening tracks on the Black Keys’ album Turn Blue, then Shrewsbury 4-pice Rainbreakers may well be for you.  Their Rise Up EP is marked by a dreamy, mellow sound that’s both bluesy and modern – with a cover pic of a burning sun that catches the vibe well. 
Opening track ‘On My Own’ fades in, and with Sam Edwards’ trippy drums well up in the mix there’s a sense of floating along on the blissed out beats.  They convey an excellent sense of space, with restrained lead guitar from Charlie Richards evoking the mood.
Rainbreakers - "Which way now, lads?"  (Photo by Mark Lloyd)
The title track goes for a funkier sound, albeit controlled, with Peter Adams’ bass creating a hand-in-glove jazzy groove with Sam Edwards’ drums, while the guitars dovetail nicely over the top.
‘Waiting On You’ takes off in a soulful direction as hazy, ‘Rain Song’-style strumming performs a slow dance with a melody that brushes with Smokey Robinson.  Ben Edwards captures the mood beautiful with his best vocal on this set.  Always controlled and on the money, I sense he can develop further vocally, just as Dan Auerbach has done over the years.
Those shuffling beats are back to the fore on ‘Perception’, with Adams’ stuttering bass also to the fore while Richards is content to ping his way around the margins delivering licks in a spare, echo-laden manner.  If there’s a glimmer of Dave Gilmour in that sound it also suggests modern sensibilities, bringing to mind something like White Denim’s ‘Street Joy’.
The EP closes with ‘Living Free’, which features some more muscular riffing as they get their wail on a bit and build a stirring crescendo, with Richards cutting loose on guitar.
Rise Up is a grower.  It may not grab you by the short hairs right away, but on repeated listening its subtleties get their hooks into you.  It’s encouraging to find a young band like Rainbreakers explore a refreshingly different take on blues-rock, and do it with confidence – so tune in and turn on, people!

Rise Up is released on 7 April.  Rainbreakers are touring from March.

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