Under The Volcano- The Family Rain, Track by Track
19th January 2014
A track by track run through of my first listen to the Family Rain’s debut album “Under The Volcano”
The album kicks off with a raucous re-working of their single “Carnival”. Originally given away as a free single, it has been re-recorded with new backing vocals that give it the party feel, while making the whole track sound more live and intimate, probably reflecting the bands new found live prowess. Starts off the album as if you’ve arrived to the party fashionably late, avoided the awkward talk and just got straight to wearing a lampshade as a head piece.
Trust me I’m a Genius
Trust me I’m a genius, the latest single and the track that the band opened to the internet. It’s still a blues laden anthem, with roaring guitar chorus compliments of Oli, but it’s on this track that you really get a feel for Will’s vocals. Powerful and soulful, ending on a cacophony of noise of being “in love with a dead scene”, just as well they’re creating their own from its Ashes.
Feel Better (Frank)
“Feel better (Frank)” rockets forwards next, easy to see why it’s already a live favourite. Heavy and possibly the most anthemic, Tim’s Drum’s thrusts the song along like a heart beat on speed. Having possibly the catchiest chorus’ of the album it begs to be shouted back, and the disorientating guitar solo, with murmured backing vocals demonstrate why the track makes reference to a drugs helpline.
Don’t Waste Your time on me
Echoed chords start off the slow intimate Don’t Waste Your time on me. The most vulnerable sounding track it starts with just Will’s trembling vocals, and the guitar, but later swells as accompanied by backing vocals a heavy distorted bass/guitar kicks. It’s the ending of the song when vocals are raised over the squealing guitar, you hear that when all three brothers’ vocals are combined it adds incredible harmonies and depths to the songs
Reason to Die
Reason to Die follows up with Tim’s drums providing the swagger to the song. It’s overconfident, it ducks and dives, it’s a geezer of a song, the man at the pub who always knows someone who can sort it out for you. The guitar skipping over the top of the bouncy bass line, it’s a track that gets in all the punches, a Muhammad Ali if you will. It’s “ahhhhhs” make you think of a Kasabian inspired fight song.
Binocular, brings the testosterone back to comfortable levels. Jaunty guitar riff slices through the track, it’s a welcome respite in the album. It bounces along comfortably, like it’s played on someone’s veranda in Nashville, while you tap your toes along and are just glad you’re out of the sun for a while. It’s a standout track on the album, and reflects a near country feel for the band. It’s the chorus, with all the Walter’s joining to create such a warming harmony that proves more than any DNA test could they’re a real family. An upbeat track but hides some possible hurt. The song tells the tale of grabbing Binoculars, checking up on someone from a distance, with great wordplay of “always on watch but never on time” echoed over and over while Will asks to “hold me and tell me that you need me ”, it provides all the sense of losing someone and finding it hard to let go.
On My Back
Backing vocals start the joyous “On My Back” like sighs of relief. It’s the rhythm of the main vocals that are most noticeable, they punctuate more than the drums, the closest to hip-hop the family come. Then when the chorus kicks in the guitar follows them excellently with “then the drums take over, but the beat won’t keep you waiting, you’re a few years older but you’re feeling just the same” before the handing over to the backing vocals once more. The songs about being stuck in the same rut, but with it moving on with its fast paced vocals you never feel trapped. It captures that sense of not growing up, it’s the most youthful track on the record.
Pushing it starts like it’s the new bond theme. It’s daring, and thunders with the bass and guitar joining to punctuate the main riff, it’s always on the edge of danger. If Reason to Die was the fight song, this song is the one that shows the toil, having to push, train for it .With the drums and bass all thundering the relentless rhythm, it seamlessly goes from verse to chorus to solo without changing the gait. Before you know it the last chorus has slipped through and you’re onto the next track.
A reverbed guitar brings in start of the “Together” with a slow build up suddenly disappearing as the flood lights come on, and a rhythm that’ll have a crowd beating the floor boards. It’s more subdued then its live version, but this lets you appreciate sudden breaks in tempo, each emphasis brings the song a new twist and turn. In truth this would be the perfect end to the album, it’s upbeat and with tender moments combined, demonstrating the two sides of the coin the band can easily flit between.
All The Best
Last song is straight in with a backing vocal build up, soothing you at the end of the album. Possibly chosen because of it’s reflective nature. It’s a distinct part of the album, the brothers are trying for something stepping away from their comfort zone, taking tentative steps towards a broader bigger sound to fill the stages they’re gonna be performing on. It’s a slight anti-climax at the end of the album after the blaring feet stopping you’d expected from three-piece, but provides a nice comma until what will hopefully be many more releases. It does however contain a lyric that seems to provide the bands ethos “When your life falls out of time I’ll be there to keep the beat”, judging from a first run through, this album erupts from the volcano, covering you in hooks and twists that’ll make sure you won’t be downbeat.