The Family Rain - Under the Volcano

18 February, 2014


By Chris Burrage



'Under The Volcano' is UK indie outfit The Family Rain's début album . It's a thirty-two minute tug of war between glimpses of barbed British blues and seemingly more forced producer-breathing-down-their-neck contemporary timbres.



The album is tragically yet another victim of digital distortion, or, as it is known, 'The Loudness Wars'. The production is so full of ballast that upon pressing 'play' my headphones fitfully demand clemency. 'Carnival' begins with hard syncopation, an irregular beat that infiltrates the ear mercilessly. In fact, this is a waste-no-time exercise in ear drum bombardment. A raw audacity is present, overt and uncompromising, but there is something charming about this group. They are unpredictable. The lyrics are pragmatic, honest and melancholic, with a sense of apathy that is unbending within the songs' fragmented narratives.



And just when you think they are adhering to the stylistic indie norms: the driving rhythm section, simple harmonic language and drilling lead lines, as heard in the track 'Feel Better', backed with vocals singing in unimaginative unison, out comes the Zeppelin switch. Suddenly we find ourselves subjected to a barrage of genuine and reliable economic riffing, underpinned by gritty and distorted bass lines. It isn't trying to say very much. Indeed, if anything, it's modest. There is an innate understanding and wielding of groove. 'Pushing It', 'Reason to Die' and 'Trust Me… I'm a Genius' ring with this elapsed British blues feel. 'Don't Waste Your Time', on the other hand, is a little more somber; a grimy dirge, foreboding and pensive.



The three brothers from Bath emulate a missing era of blues that is sandwiched somewhere between Cream and Wolfmother, while harboring a guttural rock energy. 'Under The Volcano' is admirable for its simplicity. That is not to say that it is basic, as the musicianship exhibits great versatility. The album's uncomplicated and focused message is humbling, however, and one that demands some attention.








Primary Genre: Rock 


Secondary Genre: Blues Rock


Release Date: 3rd February 2014


Label: Virgin EMI (Universal)


Like This And You'll Probably Also Like: Wolfmother, The Rival Sons, Drenge, The Milk, The Black Keys


Album Highlights: Trust Me… I'm A Genius, Pushing It, Reason To Die, Don't Waste Your Time






 The Family Rain - Trust Me, I'm a Genius





The Family Rain - Pushing It







Well alright then.