Veterans of the Paisley Underground storm back in great trippy form.
The first glimmerings of a Rain Parade revival appeared when Steven Roback and Matt Piucci toured the UK earlier this year with The Dream Syndicate. Almost four decades since they last stunned us with their psychedelic Paisley Underground patterned cosmic music, here were two of the band on stage and sounding as fresh as ever.
Now, their much-anticipated album, ‘Last Rays Of A Dying Sun’, has finally hit the shelves and, if you want to save yourself the bother of reading this review then we’ll say here and now, it’s as good as we hoped for and a must buy for anyone who was knocked out by songs such as ‘What She’s Done To Your Mind’ back in the days. So just go out and buy it.
With a title which is reminiscent of the posthumous Hendrix album ‘First Rays of the New Rising Sun’, the album opens with a Hendrix-like screaming slide guitar on ‘Angel Sister’ but it rapidly evolves into a muscular yet extremely melodic slice of jangled pop rock. Backwards guitar and trippy effects then lead us into the title song which harks back to the glory of their debut album with a hallucinogenic grip, its heady mix of sixties psychedelic rock and Eastern-sounding scales ebbing and flowing quite brilliantly. Just as trippy is the mesmeric ‘Green’ which has more than a whiff of an acid trip to it with its colour-shifting lyrics while ‘Got The Fear’, the heaviest song here with claustrophobic riffing and paranoid panicked vocals, tempts one to consider that maybe that acid trip was one too many. ‘Left The Fire’ (which opens sounding suspiciously so much like that of ‘Green’), is surely the comedown effect of all the previous song’s attempts to reach the cosmos as, Icarus-like, the band fly too close to the sun and fall.
The album is leavened somewhat with a brace of songs that are much more pastoral in style with rippling guitars and bright harmonies. ‘Share Your Love’, ‘Sunday’s Almost Gone’ and ‘Other Side Of You’ are all gossamer-like in their translucence while’ Forgetfulness’ is quite magnificent in its dreamlike and opalescent glide through lyrics such as “See the sun as it hits the ground and explodes into waves of sound.” If you want to bask in such rays and waves of cosmic sounds then this triumphant return from Rain Parade is the album to listen to.