Review by Shannon Shumaker
The coolest thing about Rain City Rockers’ new full length Mayday, is that it is timeless, as punk music has the tendency to be. It makes sense that this band knows what they’re doing and knows just the right sound to create, though. With members coming from bands such as Sum 41, Gob, Die Mannequin and Goldfinger, it’s no surprise that Rain City Rockers are completely on top of their game, and Mayday just proves it.
The first track on the album, “Mindful Madness,” is the perfect mix of punk-rock and 50’s doo wop. It’s catchy, dancy, and most of all, different, and that’s exactly what first reels me in to Mayday. I hadn’t been quite sure what to expect with this album (as is the case when I listen to most supergroups) but by the time “Mindful Madness” is ending and “On My Own” is taking over my speakers, I know exactly what Rain City Rockers are all about. “On My Own” is a slower song, which was a pleasant surprise to me, as the second track on the album. Usually, I find that bands choose their more hard-hitting songs for the first few tracks to pull the listener in, but Rain City Rockers don’t feel the need to do that. It seems that they’re not about trying to impress anyone - they let their music speak for itself.
After “On My Own” comes “Choked Up,” which is a little bit more upbeat and poppy, followed by “Miss Lindsay” which brings us back around to the 50’s feel of the first track on the album, and I’m completely sold. Rain City Rockers absolutely know what they’re doing with this release, transitioning easily from one song to another, regardless of the song’s sound. It’s an amazing feat, especially for an album that was recorded completely in a live setting. Needless to say, by the time I’m five songs into Mayday, I’m impressed.
One of the strongest tracks on the album (which was hard to decide on, because as a whole, Mayday is incredibly strong) would have to be “She Doesn’t Even Know.” The sixth track stands out from the crowd because of the way it begins with just simple guitar and soft vocals, but it ultimately sticks because of the beautiful harmonies in the chorus and the amazing songwriting that compliments the vocals perfectly. From the guitars to the rhythm section to the backing vocals, “She Doesn’t Even Know” is an amazingly well-rounded track and definitely a stand out from the rest of the album, which has a tendency to fall into the same songwriting pattern at times. And right after the slower, “She Doesn’t Even Know,” Rain City Rockers transition directly into a more upbeat track “Who Do You Think You Are” with ease. Another great song on the record is the second to last track, "Tori" which also has a very different sound than the rest of the album. However "Tori" stands out not only because of its sound, but because of the personal, meaningful lyrics in this track, which is always a pleasant surprise.
The great thing about Rain City Rockers is that they don’t sound like a supergroup. They don’t sound like the sum of their members’ other bands - they have their own very very solid sound, and that’s exactly what you want to hear from a group of talented and experienced musicians. The members of Rain City Rockers are able to pull together their experience and create something unique and amazingly well written, which is especially impressive considering that Mayday was recorded completely in one take in in a live setting.
Mayday is just an easy listen, regardless of if you’re a fan of each members’ other projects or not. It’s hard not to smile and bob your head along to the music, regardless if it’s your first or fifteenth time listening to the album. Each song on Mayday is strong in its own way, but it’s as a whole that the album really shines, and that’s exactly how I’d recommend listening to Mayday.
Listen to "She Doesn't Even Know"