Rainbreakers – Rise Up EP
The Rainbreakers are a band that unashamedly take the late 60s and early 70s British rock sound as their musical influence and foundation but then freshen it up with a contemporary twist and a healthy injection of soul, R&B and the psychedelic.
The Shrewsbury based quartet got a bit of attention in 2014 with their first single, the southern-rock tinged slide blues of 'Gone,' but it was the 2015 four-track EP Blood Not Brass that saw them fully identified on the blues rock radar.
The EP, led by the feisty 'Ain’t Nothing Goin’ On,' was high on R&B rock-soul vibes but where Blood Not Brass hinted at potential (especially on the moody, slow building 'All I Got'), Rise Up heralds a band ready for psychedelic soul-blues action.
You could be forgiven for thinking opening number 'On My Own' is a modern recording of a band from the post Cream, psychedelic soul-rock era of the early 70s.
The mid-tempo number struts with melodically charged soul blues; the vocals of front man and rhythm guitarist Ben Edwards are perfectly complemented by the guitar tones of latest Rainbreaker, Charlie Richards, who delivers a tasty little solo and provides echoing six-string colour behind the rhythmic groove created by Peter Adams (bass) and Sam Edwards (drums).
The title track, an optimistic cry in the midst of a divided and politically fractured world, is another mid-tempo tune; it’s a funky little number that stretches across five and a half minutes of spacey rhythm, broken up by an instrumental bridge that has Ben Edwards and Charlie Richards wailing in psychedelic unison.
By contrast 'Waiting On You' is a lovely soul ballad that, in the hands a of any soul-pop "name" artist you care to mention, would be an airplay hit.
It's a genuinely striking number that, in weight and pacing, is the slow soul blues equivalent of Thin Lizzy’s classic rock ballad 'Still in Love With You' (and as comparisons go that’s not too shabby).
The final two tracks retain the slow groove mood of the EP.
The falling in love song 'Perception' retains the balladeering mood of 'Waiting On You,' but carries a more psychedelic tone; 'Living Free' is an edgier, more rock orientated number and the song that comes closest to blues rock, albeit with that Rainbreakers infusion of psychedelia, soul and musical space-to-breath.
Blood Not Brass was a strong offering, but the Rainbreakers second EP is a psychedelic and soulful sonic shift beyond.
The rhythm work is more groove orientated, Ben Edwards is vocally hitting all the soul blues sweet spots and Charlie Richards is delivering the space-filling, pedal effected and melodically structured guitar lines that should see the band Rise Up the ranks of the must see - must hear blues rock and blues soul acts.
It's no more than their talents deserve.