There's something to be said about bands with good influences, especially when they manage to blend a good deal of them into a new sound that more than holds its own. Manchester's Rain Band have just released their second single, and first for new Island/Fierce Panda collaborative label Temptation, "Easy Rider," and while it's not a song about a motorcycle journey, it is a journey through Manchester's musical history. Taking bits and pieces from some of the city's great bands such as New Order and Stone Roses, as well as marauding Liverpudlians Echo and the Bunnymen, this trio manages to produce a pop song that's slightly dark and sinister (thanks to the menacing bass underbelly) and a confident, sneering vocal the vibe of which Liam Gallagher would have been proud. Added electronic tweaks over the top add a definite 21st century aspect, proving that while The Rain Band may look a bit to the past for inspiration, they have their eye on the future. And by the sound of things, it may well be theirs soon enough.
JEREMY P. GOLDSTEIN