Album Review: The Family Rain – ‘Under The Volcano’

The Family Rain are the trio of brothers from Bath who have presented the UK indie-rock scene with their rather fine debut album Under The Volcano.

It seems to have been released rather conveniently in conjunction with the dying days of AM’s honeymoon period, far from coincidentally, I suspect. There is definitely some comparison to be made between these lot and their rather more Northern (in disposition and musical character) peers. There are the heavy riffs that often lead the songs, the gorgeous bass lines and of course the indistinguishable howls from a charismatic lead singer.

‘Trust Me…I’m A Genius’ is catchy, sexy and not the least bit dreary.

But the problem is just that. If you were to compare the two, and in fairness there are times where this would be silly, Under The Volcano does unfortunately present a rather pale imitation. There are some excellent songs but there are a couple of dreary ones, two. AM did not accommodate dreariness. Turner would probably throw dreariness on the floor without so much as a legal disclaimer beforehand.

That being said, there are some real corkers on this album. ‘Trust Me…I’m A Genius’ is catchy, sexy and not the least bit dreary. ‘Reason To Die’ is forceful, grungey and a pretty exciting look into the current cool cats of the British Rock Scene. But then we’re hit with ‘Binocular’, which is grunge in the way that James Brown was Christian metal. In other words, this ain’t no grunge, gang. So if not grunge, then what? Wikipedia, that well known reputable source, describes them as a blues-rock band. I suppose there is that element to Under The Volcano, but it’s not a common enough theme for this album to be filed under the genre of blues-rock.

Ultimately, the fundamental problem with Under The Volcano is that it doesn’t really have as strong as identity as some of the albums it may have aspired to be like. This, however, doesn’t reflect as badly as it may sound on the talents of The Family Rain, which are undeniable. I think they have a strong future and though their debut may lack an overwhelmingly obvious distinctiveness, when all’s said and done, it’s an incredibly enjoyable record.

Liv Clark

…Liv is listening to Banks – ‘Brain’…


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