Rainy Day Crush – Calamity! – EP Review
Powerful stuff out of Milwaukee! I don’t know if I can recall anything else I’ve reviewed from there…so this might be what the entire scene sounds like; and what a diverse and charming place that would make to live, wouldn’t it? Okay…maybe I have the advantage of having heard the new EP from Rainy Day Crush…so I’ve already pictured what that place would be like…and I can tell you first hand it would be a sincerely beautiful place to be.
I mentioned K’s Choice in the review I did yesterday on Mycenea Worley…and I’d be apt to bring up that band again today in reference to Rainy Day Crush but for the opposite side of their spectrum. Mycenea had the slow-tempo aspect of that band down perfectly…but Rainy Day Crush has the power, energy and melody found in their brightest and boldest rhythms. Essentially I suppose what I’m saying is…in the absence of that wonderful band in today’s world…I’d sure be willing to shift my attention to Rainy Day Crush and focus on them! They’re not only active and crushing it with their new EP Calamity! – but from pop to rock to folk to indie…there are a ton of reasons to instantly fall in love with the music of RDC.
It’d be impossible not to comment on just how incredible Betsy Ade sounds on this record. While the surrounding band of Matt Specht (Piano, Guitar, Vocals), Derek Schattl (Bass) and Mike Wynn Jr. (Drums, Vocals) never drop the ball once and provide us all with entertaining and solid music all the way through this EP…it’s going to be an uphill battle for these great players to get noticed in behind what is truly a powerful and confident voice up-front from Ade. In my opinion…you get your choice guys…you can be famous as an entire band…or you can be the players in behind the famous front-woman…either way I’d say that Rainy Day Crush stands a phenomenal chance of getting the attention they deserve for this effort, it’s just a matter of what level of fame they’re looking for on an individual-level. If they’re all truly cool with the possibility of either scenario whichever may come their way…I’d say then that the attitude in Rainy Day Crush would be the right one to have…and that they’ll make it.
As the title-tune “Calamity!” opened up the record, Betsy comes out singing beautifully, confidently and sweetly as this melody snaps crisply to the beat with everything from the harmonies to the music sounding like they’ve already found their own 100% and quality-standards – all within the very first minutes and seconds. You can tell that the writing and care has been put in here…the effort to make something sounding grippingly-entertaining and powerful on an emotional-level…it’s all here and it’s all executed with maximum confidence, skill and precision. “Calamity!” puts an early highlight of this record right out there on track one…and as the chorus hits you can really appreciate just how BIG a band like this could get. I suppose you could cite the recent success of bands like Of Monsters And Men in a way…but to me the chorus of “Calamity!” despite its gentle sounds actually has a lot more in common with giant-anthems than it does just simple pop-music. Definitely some strong song-writers here…I’ve got no doubt about that.
“Serpentine” is a song that reveals the true skill and amazing precision this band contains in their music. A wild rhythm that has a vocal-flow super-charged at a blazing-speed – Ade sounds incredible through the verse and somehow even better through its dreamy chorus. Excellent piano from Matt drives the music beautifully from part to part…the switches are insanely well-transitioned and the resulting energy in this track is totally catchy – “Serpentine” is a completely uplifting rhythm that moves quickly with a shanty-style melody. It’s part-pirate, part crowd-chant…and all awesome; it’s the seriously-talented folk music that really rocks when it calls for it in the ripping verse…but it’s really the magic of that smoothness in the chorus that makes this song for me personally. At least I think so…I dunno…really, both of these main parts, verse & chorus…they’re just fantastic…could be a coin-flip for me at any moment as to which part I enjoy more, but I suppose the point is that the whole song is fantastic.
“Have It All” is about as confident and charming as one song can get. I love the way this beautiful-grind just builds and builds…but seriously…the crisp-precision in the vocals and tone of Betsy Ade is something that honestly feels like a complete privilege to listen to. She sounds amazing on this song and sings it with an audible-ton of style. The whistling-effect…I’m not quite sure what it is…but that sound-sample, combined with the inventive percussion makes “Have It All” standout in every way…every GREAT way. The way their music has such an all-inclusive and inviting atmosphere to it is never presented better than it is right here. Great rhythm and stomp to the beat and sound…”Have It All” might be reminding you that you can’t “Have It All” – but the song itself sounds like a big giant-hug of audible-comfort.
The music itself often implies the sound of a band that is extraordinarily imaginative and quite playful at heart. A real glimpse at that comes through the dramatic sounds and wry-humour of “Sticky” – the lyrics here take a real turn in the spotlight. The jazzy & dramatic nature of the music will definitely remind you of the swing-band sound…”Sticky” is theatrical, witty and charming all at the same time. I usually don’t get pulled in by big, big sounds like these…but I gotta admit this one’s got me pretty hooked. Love the middle of this tune where it hits a little bit of a darker-vein in the breakdown before bursting into sensational-brightness and all-out party-mode by the very end.
Guitar-driven on “My Own,” this final-tune really opens up beautifully. Betsy sounds closest to my comparison of K’s Choice’s Sarah Bettens here with her absolutely stunning vocals. The bass…the drums…everything builds and glides perfectly and with incredible texture and harmony through the music. Perhaps a little looser in the chorus…it all works incredibly well for them as they expand, tighten, loosen-up and really let the freedom of music take hold in this final tune as they transition through its verse, chorus, breakdown and bring-back. Ending on some of the most inspiring tones and personal-proclamations that you’ll find on Calamity! – Rainy Day Crush has been more than impressive throughout their five tunes and have absolutely got me stoked to hear anything else at all from this band that might come our way in the future. You’ll feel the same.
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