The 1990’s – Remember them well, don’t you?
“No other decade has thrown up more variety and diversity. You can’t look at that decade and define it by anything; there was simply too much going on. Rock and pop bestrode the entire planet like rarely before or since.” (https://www.nme.com/blogs/nme-blogs/the-90s-best-decade-for-music-ever-770379#BH1zIADztCvH6FtY.99)
Hanging around in the Australian music scene in the 90’s were Melbourne based band Rain Factory. Moderately successful, releasing albums and touring or supporting iconic bands of the time. Then they were gone and so was the classic rock genre as it was replaced by grunge rock, hip hop and Brit Pop (just think Spice Girls).
Thanks to the wonder of social media (thank you Facebook for being a part of my life) a chance meeting of two strangers, a bit of a chat which revealed that the group had reformed, released a new album and I was invited to take a listen…SWEEEET!!
Rain Factory’s new album their third is titled “Stimulus Response” and was sent out into the ears of punters in June 2019, the first album release since 1998. I wasn’t sure a band could take that long a break and suddenly pull it back together when essentially, they had been living the lives of the ‘working man’ for the preceding years.
The first track on the album is titled ‘Rebooted’ and that’s exactly what these guys have done but they’ve done it even better than ever before and introduced some modern production elements and sounds to create an album of hard-hitting rock.
Vocally, Chris Birdman’s delivery is solid and colourful. In the beginning tracks one hears the influences of that great Australian Alt. Rock band of the 80’s The Church quite clearly. As you move through the album you begin to hear the real Birdman. He’s a little sassy, a little edgy and employs a huge range of dynamics.
Track 4, ‘Funkpolitik’ is just what you imagine with a title like that…it’s funky and it’s about politics! This one sounds a bit more like electronica than any other track on the album. Instrumentally it’s a bit of fun and full of that all too familiar guitarist who provides ‘stabs’ combined with faster rhythms and riffs. Although I acknowledge it’s a quality piece it was the least appealing to me of the whole album…just not my thing!
Enter the ‘tearjerker’…the one you all want to listen to when you’ve been scorned and just need a damn good cry…‘Silent Screaming’ (Track 5). Scaled right back in the intro it gives you time to absorb the moving lyrics. It’s an emotive revelation that disquiets your whole nature. Tissues at the ready for this one.
The ‘piece de resistance’ on ‘Stimulus Response’ for me is ‘Ride’. It’s a bitchin’ track full of attitude, hot shredding, strong base lines and it just makes you feel alive! Forget your little Kawasaki this one’s got you on the ultimate ‘Hog’. It’s a perfect song to end the album on.
Of note is that at the time of writing, gamer ‘Acquiesce’ from New Zealand, used the song Ride in his Mario Kart Wii Oceanic Record. Check it out here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPIOhokWZPA
Of all the albums I’ve listened to this year (2019) ‘Stimulus Response’ has been the one to transport me to an era of greatness and sustain my interest for the length of an album. If I were to give it a score out of 10 with 10 being the highest, I would have to rate it a 9/10.
There’s really nothing not to like, its solid delivery is to be complimented and it’s far above the delivery of some of the albums being fluffed about out there at the moment. It brings back the true genre of ‘classic rock’ and it’s great to see a band bring the past into the future to be enjoyed all over again.
It’s a huge thumbs up from me Rain Factory!!
‘Stimulus Response’ is available via digital download here or by streaming on popular platforms.