The Family Rain-
Euphoric family of man, have blues and rock grit, but a steady heartbeat underneath. Guaranteed to blow away the cobwebs, with panache.
Pushing It is available at:
The E.P. Pushing It is available at:
RECOGNITION and late praise is something that bothers me somewhat…
The media in the U.K. is culpable to a large extent. The issue is not nearly as rife in other nations such as the U.S., but here it is practically endemic: too little praise is given too late to too many great bands. Some may consider it to be a minor problem, but is hints at a larger malaise. As well as a swarm and plethora of new music coming into the market by the day, there is a huge amount of newly-established bands and artists whom are on the scene, deserving of attention too. It seems that there is an obsolescence in the chain of reason, and too many kinks. Social media is burgeoning and expanding beyond its limitations and there are plenty of music websites and on-line newspapers. The trouble is, that so few actively and thoroughly look out for and promote music and new acts especially. Far too many times I have come across a particular act by sheer chance; stunned at the lack of promotion and attention the artist has received. Everyone is deserving of a space within music- regardless of their level of talent or abilities. Mediation and due attention should be paid, and more fervent regard should be paid, because frankly, too much good music is slipping through the cracks. The artists themselves can only accomplish so much on their own; or by word-of-mouth. Media outlets have a responsibility to help further new talent, and to my knowledge, too little is being done; there is no due diligence; no real insight or effort being carried out. It is relevant to my point when considering artists whom have already made footsteps, but whom also need to be grasped my more people, and have their name and songs recognised more widely. In the current climate there are few websites- if any at all- that dedicated time to highlighting these types of acts (as well as brand new ones). A lot of time a broadsheet paper’s website or music magazine will mention a ‘New Band of the Day’; and that act may have been around for a fair few months. Radio and music shows on T.V. are doing their part as much as possible: it is just the rest of the Internet and media that are dropping the ball. It is not just a theme I bring up to fill space, but mention it because a lot of wonderful music is being left on the shelf too long, or relies on people stumbling upon them by chance. I have arrived at the footsteps of some pretty strong acts, thinking that they are brand new on the scene; only to discover that they have been out there and making music for a good long time. I suppose that in the future, measures will be introduced and websites designed, that make it easier to be kept abreast of all the happenings, and relevant new music. For too long stations and the media have fixated too hard on the mainstream and popular act; relegating newer music and different sounds to dark corners, and small print. Only time will tell whether this issue will ever be rectified, and people will be made more aware of good vibrations and brilliant sounds.
The Family Rain are a band that I have been aware of for a little while, but not one that have been featured too heavily in music magazines or online; I feel that they are victims of late praise and some retrospection. The Guardian have just featured them as their ‘New Band of the Day’, in light of the release of new musical releases from the group. Their Pushing It E.P. is released and the title track is catching a lot of ears and minds. The band have been on the scene for a little while, and their song Trust Me… I’m a Genius, was met with a great deal of adoration and interest. Many were comparing the group with the likes of the Kings of Leon; whilst others felt that they had all the hallmarks of classic rock groups of the ’60s and ’70s. Their official website is striking and well designed, and there is an air of confidence about the boys: they know that you need to have good online presence, and not just great songs. Little is known about the boys on an individual basis. Their music does a lot of talking, but the guys are William, Timothy and Oliver, and are based in Bath. Their sound is very much indie and rock, but there are harder elements as well as blues touches too. At the moment the boys are touring, having just played Manchester. Word and buzz are being built up, and there is a great anticipation and excitement with regards to their E.P. and future footsteps. Whatever the future holds, for now they are recruiting a wide range and fans, and their live performances and reputation are doing them more favours than the media at the moment. If the likes of the broadsheets and music publications are to maintain popularity and a good name, then they need to be more informed and involved with bands like The Family Rain, as they do seem to be an afterthought for a lot of publications, when they should be taking up a lot more of their space and time.
The opening notes of Pushing It have hard and ragged stomps. There is a little bit of Queens of the Stone Age’s Lullabies’ work, especially Burn The Witch and Tangled Up in Plaid. Definitely the sound of the desert and the U.S. lingers in the opening notes. It is intently and striking, and pulls you along, not giving you time to absorb the music. The band are “pushing it hard”; the vocal is quite an individual facet for the band. Elements of U.S. stars linger in the tones as well as northern influences, but the overall sound is refreshing and individual. It matches the mood and pace of the riff, and is intent and dominating. When things are pushed past “the pace of the day”, there is a raw and sexual edge to the vocal. The riff strikes and hits, whilst percussion and bass pound and provide hard-hitting support. It is clear that momentum and power are bywords for the track, and the pace rarely lets up at all. Many will find relatable familiarities within the song. The northern influence is probably heavier, with ’90s Britpop nestling alongside modern idols such as Mile Kane. A similar raw edge and fortitude are detected within the vocals especially, and the band have the same tight and confident stride to their step, as the likes of Kasabian. Even though the lyrics and words have sly undertones, impassioned intent and a tongue-in-cheek to their edges, the composition and band performance is layered and intriguing. Lesser bands may just infuse the track with too much sound and weight, and ruin the overall effect: The Family Rain bring the pace down to allow the vocals to shine when needs be; ramping it up and sidewinding to emphasis effect when required. “It’s all undercover” the band sing; there is shadiness, weird and curious scenes and impending paradigm shifting events. Everything is delivered with clarity and consideration as well; vocals are not spluttered or drawled; instead calmly delivered like a sermon, our front-man teasing the syllables and one suspects there is always a cheeky smile not far from his lips. That hint of U.S. stoner rock-cum Manchester indie is particularly prescient when the band fire up and let their instruments do the work. Guitar, bass and guitar codas snake and rattle, and spark electricity and fire. The riff and percussive drilling has the nature of a boxer: punches are sprinkled; the fighter recoils and comes back for more. The video for the track depicts a female boxer in the ring, appropriately hotting up the pace and getting shots in good and clean at this juncture. Physicality and masculinity are also essential words as well, and the boys, through their words of things delving “under the skin”; and “microphone checks”always have a spiked and ragged passion to their performance. The momentum and firepower never lets up; an unstoppable gravity and snowballing effect is elicited. “The hairdresser’s in/And she’s seen it coming” is used a fair few times, and the guys have a way of conjuring up vivid scenes from doorways and town corners, that makes you think you are there watching it happen. Characters and false idols are presented, and an underlying sense of controversy and danger lurk beneath the chords and beats. In the way that the vocals are sometimes snarled or forced forth reminds me a great deal of early-career Oasis, as well as Arctic Monkeys; although possibly not influences for the band, there is a similar force and quality to the vocal tones, as well as the music itself. Again when the band break and unleash another passage, Queens of the Stone Age comparisons are hard to ignore. A bit of No One Knows can be detected, as well as Songs for the Deaf tones and flavours. Not that it is ever a bad or overly-obvious thing: The Family Rain have an ambition and quality that means that they can sprinkle influences and familiar sounds into their riffs, but make them feel fresh and urgent. Whatever you hear, imagine or can detect from the sounds: whether there is clear influence or some strange avenues, the abiding effect is one of impressive intent and ambition.
It is through The Guardian that I was made aware of the band’s new E.P. and it was by chance that I happened by the band a few months ago. It seems, that in 2013, better and more prominent steps should be put in line, so that someone like me, who wants to hear about The Family Rain, should not have to work so hard to do so. The emphasis is still placed well and truly on chart music; mainstream sounds and bands that have already cemented their sounds and credibility. For those that are saplings, or on the rise, their futures are not giving as much consideration and affection as they deserve. I hope that The Family Rain have a chance to be heard and seen by a lot more people. At the moment, they have a hell of a lot of followers via Facebook and Twitter, and are attracting huge crowds from all around the U.K. If they want to break into America, and get the credit they deserve, people should be prepared to help out and share their sounds, as they are clearly a band that are going to be around for a long time to come. Their E.P. is a perfect representation of where they are now, and how good they are. Their indie, rock and hard sounds are hard-hitting and memorable. Lyrics of personal relevance are mingled with something more universal and commonplace. Vocal performances are consistently strong and impressive, and have a clear identity, as well as containing bits of U.S. and U.K. stars. It is when the band come together that the most stunning results are realised. They are tight and professional; have a great energy and swagger and a clear affection for one another. Riffs, lines and middle eights are ready-made for festivals and venues, and also tailored for the best radio stations out there: Absolute, BBC 6 Music, XFM, etc. In weeks to come, many will be speaking of them, snapping up their E.P. and looking forward to what comes next, and the band should prepare themselves for that. What a future album will herald: softer sounds mixing with their anthems, or a different sound completely, it will be exciting to see. To help further the cause of great new bands, that are deserving of much plaudits, give them a listen…
AND spread the word.