CD (G.I.C.S.N.) 2004
Recorded at Frisbee #7 (Gt. North Rd.) by Bob, Sept. 2003
Dave Graham's had a multitude of Rainy Days line-ups over god knows how many years, playing all over Auckland in the weirdest places. And using the oddest technology, no one who was there will ever forget the Mission Bay gig where everybody brought along an FM receiver and tuned into some otherwise unused frequency from which the live mix of the gently swinging band wafted into the salty, suburban air.
A plethora of uniquely packaged cassettes has been the main platform for their earthy, organic, lo-tech recordings to date, most compiled on last year's Spongo, Mummagumma, Bullybeef + Microchips. So this is the now teenaged band's first ever stand-alone album. And it does.
The two guys and girls that make up the current core band are a propulsive, rolling little unit sounding like Exiles-era Stones on the title track, the Velvets on 'Disappear (No Doubt)', mid-70s Ray Davies singing with the Laughing Clowns on 'Third World Shoes', just a tad like early Supergroove on 'Cash', Bo Diddley all over the place and something quite like Costello (if he were better than he is) on 'Pizza Delivery'. While always sounding exactly like the Rainy Days. A neat trick and surprisingly hard to pull off with such effortless panache.
Their lyrics will not insult your intelligence, their sounds will cause no pain but neither will they lull you into an alt-country/new-folk coma. If you've ever enjoyed the band live you'll know you want this, the most consistently enjoyable showcase so far of their quiet yet muscular strengths and the best sounding. A pretty darned wonderful sampler of their abundant raw charms.
**** Veterans of the Auckland gig circuit, The Rainy Days return with their sophomore offering, Hot Shit. While 2003's Spongo... was at times exciting if a little rambling, Hot Shit is a far more polished effort and all the better for it. The guitars are tighter and cleaner, and are bolstered by a funky horn section. This fattened, more satisfying sound works to great effect on opener 'The Boy Next Door'. Meanwhile, exquisite ballad 'Desert Island Blue' fuses beautifully ragged piano with mournful strings*. A real gem. Their live show comes highly recommended too.
This is the modern day sequel to last years most excellent Spongomummagummabullybeef + microchips ... and it is great. Whereas Spongo.. was a compilation of the Rainy Days work between '92 and '95 this is the contemporary Rainy Days as you might see and hear them today.
The albums cover is almost as good as Spongo's, the polystyrene Hot Shit Hot Wheels set is bloody ingenious. Top marks for the artwork.
Hot shit! is a much more reflective album. The obvious angst and rage of the younger Davy Graham are largely gone. Well maybe not so much gone as evolved into a cynical disillusionment with the modern globalised world...
A difficult band to pigeon hole The Rainy Days, but I'll give it a go - how about "Neanderthal Jazz". This is a debut album of sorts, but you're pretty much looking at a "best of" their live set of the last few years. Includes "The Boy Next Door", "Third World Shoes", "Suitable Suit", "Disappear", "Desert Island Blue", "Cash" and others plus different versions of "Love" (as heard on the Fast Food Rock-n-Roll Music Is My Only Salvation comp) and "Joy Tomorrow" (as heard on the Fast Food Christmas On The Rocks comp). Nice artwork.
* ?! no strings attached - must be that 'horn section' again...