REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha
Stompy, blues rock from The Family Rain Walter brothers
The Family Rain - Under the Volcano 7/10
Out 3rd February on Virgin/EMIRecorded over four weeks at Berlin's famed Hansa Studios with Jim Abbiss producer for the likes of Kasabian and the Arctic Monkeys this full length album follows the release of their home demo, the confidently titled
Trust Me… I'm A Genius. Hailing from Bath, yes Bath not mid-west America, The Family Rain are Will Walter (vocals & bass), Ollie Walter (guitar & backing vocals) and Tim Walter (drums & backing vocals).
Under the Volcano opens with the lively and boisterous
Carnival; it’s a bold opening track and set the tone for the rest of the album. For a three-piece they manage to make quite a big sound, Will’s vocals are part Jack White part Black Keys Dan Auerbach. The lead single
Feel Better (Frank) has plenty of energy and it is very rousing but it feels a little too polished. Probably the most interesting track on
Under the Volcano is
Don’t Waste Your Time, there’s less stompy rock to it and more soul and melody, it is quite dark and vocally it shivers and quivers, and this style they could look to develop further there is more intensity to it than the rest of the album. There are easy references to be made with the likes of Kings of Leon, not just because of the family band but they both share the bluesy rock style, The Black Keys, Alabama Shakes and The White Stripes, even a little bit of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, making the album sound more like a mish mash of other bands rather than carrying its own distinct identity.
There is plenty of bluesy stomp to
Under the Volcano and the production is very good but listening to it and hearing the influences rather than getting something from this record, it actually makes you want to listen to the bands it imitates. Halfway through it becomes almost a laborious task to listen to, the crunching riffs sound a little laden and it just isn’t meaty enough to really get into, that said The Family Rain work quite well as a radio band, a lot of these tracks could sit happily on the XFM playlist and their live shows have been received extremely well. Worth a listen if you are a fan of Kings of Leon or The Black Keys.