Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Music Reviews: Mourning Rain - "Demo"

In this day and age of music you need to be either radio friendly and trendy or you'll forever be a struggling musician without a snowballs chance in hell of making it on the radio. I've never had much respect for bands or artists who have had a career handed to them (i.e. American Idol) or sell a million albums by dropping the "f bomb", wearing pants around their ankles, rapping about smoking weed, packing heat, killing cops, banging and slapping woman around. There's just no room in my life for that garbage. That's why I always look out for new bands who may not fit the criteria of "Top 40" mainstream, but have true talent none the less. Bands who write their own songs, play an actual instrument and gig around in a van with a passion for their craft. I've found a new band who's happy doing what they love without conforming to what the music industry wants them to be. They are a talented band from Long Island called Mourning Rain.

 Mourning Rain are currently working on their debut album, but in the meantime I was able to get a copy of the bands 4 song demo. And to say I was blown away by their style and talent is being modest. The 4 songs are so well crafted and touch upon so many different styles of music that it's hard to peg them as being one genre or another. "Last Clear Memory" has a classic rock feel to it with great guitar noodling from singer/guitarist Jared Michael Pihl. But it's also very modern sounding with the great rhythm section of bassist Natalie Rose and drummer Devin Justman who fit well with Pihl's style of playing. This track goes from moody and mellow with somber lyrics and melodies into a scorching heavy metal friendly guitar solo without taking away the beauty of the song. It's an odd combination that just goes so well together.

"Lost Connection" has a smooth R&B opening riff that goes into an almost 90's alternative feel, and back again. Once again combining different styles without turning into mush or taking away from the beauty of the song. I can't help but think this band grew up on a healthy diet of Oasis, Black Sabbath and smooth jazz, opening their minds to the possibility of making great songs on their own terms without being cornered by one sound or style. The music is layered wonderfully and played with honest feel and passion throughout. "Nameless" being a standout track that really shows the intensity in the bands playing and songwriting. It's catchy, hook driven with great, tight playing by all involved. This track screams hit. Such a beautiful song.

"Swept Ashore" closes out this demo. It's a cool song, but it kinda gets lost in the muddy production. I think that with some knob twisting it can really bring this track to life. It's a great song, it just needs a little work. If the band re-cut these tracks for their debut, I think they will have a monster hit on their hands. I have heard a lot of demos from up and coming bands trying to find a sound all their own. But this is a really stellar effort form an exciting new band. I can't begin to tell you how refreshing it is to see young musicians taking a giant leap forward with their creativity. Mourning Rain, I salute you! I can't wait to see what this band comes up with next.

4 / 5 stars

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