RAIN OR SHINE – The Darkest Part Of Me (2019) *EXCLUSIVE*
Greek Melodic Rockers RAIN OR SHINE have signed a deal with prestigious American label Perris Records for the release of their second album “The Darkest Part Of Me”, out next February 15th and presented here at 0dayrox in exclusive.
RAIN OR SHINE is in fact a two-man band, a duo where Andy R. McCormick performs drums & percussion, and Steve S.R. does everything from guitars, bass, keys and producing (he’s a sound engineer) – apart from his excellent, accent free lead vocals, everything is perfectly arranged and mixed by these talented musicians.
We already praised HERE Rain Or Shine’s first album, a collection of late ’80s / early ’90 sounding Melodic Rock tunes with Hard Rock / AOR touches, mostly crafted with an European sound in mind.
After the first seconds of opener, title track “The Darkest Part Of Me” you can tell RAIN OR SHINE have incredibly grown as unit. Seriously, from songwriting to sound production design, this new album is a huge step forward for this band. The song is ‘big’, with lots of guitar layers, synths, clear vocals and pumping rhythm section.
Follower “Top Of The World” is catchier, a modern melodic rocker with a trademark Scandinavian sound all over it and a production approach akin ECLIPSE / Erik Martensson, not ‘heavy’ but bouncing. A winner.
Then ‘New Love” provides another twist, an articulated midtempo melodious rocker with great harmony vocals – think 2000’s DEF LEPPARD – and a groove bringing to my mind WIGELIUS. Did I tell you Steve S.R. also play great guitar solos?
Elegant midtempo and with an AOR feel is ‘Where Are You Now’, modern in production yet still with the ’80s as focus. The guys add clean electric guitars and piano to the mix, creating a solid backbone for one of the album highlights.
More variation appears for the summertime sweet melody of ‘Around The Corner’; acoustic guitars cleverly arranged and performed alongside the electric for good effect.
“Shot Of Life” is just another song where you can hear RAIN OR SHINE progress; just another huge, big sounding melodic hard rocker with riffs remiscent of COLDSPELL, puchy verses ala HEAT, and a chorus akin BROTHER FIRETRIBE. The guitar solo is simple, but killer.
“We All Back Down” is all about melodic rock fun – think a mix of WHITE WIDDOW and WILD ROSE. Love it.
“Back On Track” slow down things a iittle, not strictly a ballad but a solid melodious rocker in the DA VINCI vein (very good lead vocals), but soon the guys hit your senses again with the ridiculously catchy “Into The Storm”, somehow a blend of TASTE and KISSIN’ DYNAMITE.
We reach the end – what a pity – with “We Only Live Once”, a song composed on acoustic guitar for sure (and I bet it sounds great unplugged) however here RAIN OR SHINE add lots of subtle instrumentation including percussion, synths, and sweet harmonic vocals.
RAIN OR SHINE really surprised me with “The Darkest Part Of Me”. Their first album delivered a bunch of lovely melodic songs and a lot of potential for bigger things. These ‘bigger things’ appear into this new CD in spades.
Take a look above at the mentioned acts as influence, infuse all of ’em with your own spin, and you got RAIN OR SHINE 2019.
These guys are ready for the major leagues, with clever songwriting – there’s not a single ‘by numbers’ track here, all far from ordinary – slick instrumentation, perfect pitch vocals and a huge production.
I can see why Perris Records signed RAIN OR SHINE, a label with a special talent to add really good bands to their roster.
01 – The Darkest Part Of Me
02 – Top Of The World
03 – New Love
04 – Where Are You Now
05 – Around The Corner
06 – Shot Of Life
07 – We All Back Down
08 – Back On Track
09 – Into The Storm
10 – We Only Live Once
Steve S.R. – Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Synths
Andy R. McCormick – Drums, Percussion