fri 21/06/2024

Album: Rain Parade - Last Rays of a Dying Sun | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Rain Parade - Last Rays of a Dying Sun

Album: Rain Parade - Last Rays of a Dying Sun

Over three decades on from their last album, the Paisley Underground lynchpins unleash its follow-up

Rain Parade's 'Last Rays of a Dying Sun': about continuity

The atmosphere is foggy. What can be discerned through the murk is either out of focus or translucent. Words drift in from somewhere which can’t be pinpointed. “I’m tuning you in,” “I’ve picked up the loaded dice,” “Everything you know is everything that you let go.” Control is just out of reach. The songs are mid paced, with nods to Crazy Horse and Television. There are odd snatches of backwards guitar.

All of this applies to Rain Parade now. It also applies to the Rain Parade of 1983, when their first LP, Emergency Third Rail Power Trip, was issued. It’s an enduring musical outlook. The sonically simpatico Midlake would doubtless concur.

Last Rays of a Dying Sun has taken a long time to arrive. Rain Parade, integral to Los Angeles' Sixties-inclined Paisley Underground groundswell of the first half of the 1980s, initially split in 1986, briefly reformed in 1988 to make an album (issued after-the-fact in 1991), then began getting going again on an continuing basis in 2012. This is their third album proper, following-up 1985’s Crashing Dream. Band founders Matt Piucci (guitar) and Steven Roback (bass) remain on board, as is guitarist John Thoman (with Rain Parade since 1984). Road band regulars Stephan Junca (drums, a long-time Piucci associate) and Derek See (guitar, keyboards, also a dealer in rare records) are heard too, along with guests including former Bangles Debbi and Vicki Peterson, as well as Wondermints mainstay Darian Sahanaja.

This comeback record – its title presumably a play on Hendrix’s First Rays of the New Rising Sun – is about continuity. It does not matter how this point has been reached, or even how disjointed the path has been as it’s manifestly a Rain Parade album, one thankfully lacking the thinness of its 1985 predecessor Crashing Dream. However, there is a similar feel to the titles: Crashing Dream pointed to an imminent end, as does Last Rays of a Dying Sun. Even so, see this as belated confirmation that Rain Parade are addressing unfinished business.


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