‘Face To Face’, the first album from RAINBREAKERS was released on 31st August 2018. The four-piece outfit from Shrewsbury have produced a genre defying debut that encompasses a meld of rock, blues, pop and soul. Recorded at Monochrome Productions with Tom Gittins (Robert Plant, Broken Witt Rebels), the ten tracks on the album are inspired by a particularly dark period in vocalist/guitarist Ben Edwards’ life, with each song depicting an emotional struggle.
Musically, the band take inspiration from the music of the past as well as the present, using a diverse range of influences from garage to soul, to create their original sound. Having already toured the UK and Mainland Europe with The Kris Barras Band, The Devon Allman Band, Bad Touch, Sly Digs and Laurence Jones, and gaining lots of new fans in the process, Rainbreakers have been playing to sell-out audiences crowds at venues such as The 100 Club, The Borderline and Rock City. With performances at The Great British Rock and Blues Festival, where they won the crowd vote on the Introducing Stage, and Wilderness Festival, and nominations for the UK Blues Challenge and Best Emerging Artist in the British Blues Awards 2016, Rainbreakers are catching the attention of the public and critics alike.
Album opener and lead single ‘Heavy Soul’ is about Ben’s personal struggle with depression and anxiety and was released with the intention of drawing attention to the issues surrounding mental health and to help people realise that they are not alone. It grabs my attention from the first notes; it’s got a really catchy hook and a groovy bass line that gets inside your head and rumbles around incessantly. The melodious soaring guitars and Ben’s soulful voice and crisp, clear vocals make for a fresh, contemporary sound with a nod to yesteryear. Ben had this to say about Heavy Soul: “I have been dealing with depression for many years now. I have to deal with many dark thoughts that aren’t easy to talk about or easy to deal with. ‘Heavy Soul’ is about living through those times. However I think it’s really important to remember that we are all capable of good and when I feel at my lowest I always try to remember the better times. Even if I feel like I have a heavy soul, I take a deep breath and remind myself that I still have a heart of gold that is there wanting to shine.”
‘Got Me Where She Wants’ is about being manipulated by a partner, but also about being in a troubled relationship with your head buried in the sand, unwilling or lacking the courage to do anything
about it. Whilst writing this song, the band conjured up an image of a man hiding in his local pub to escape his partner at home, who is trying to get his attention. Neither side feels like they can
win here, but they just can’t walk away from the relationship. It’s a situation that many of us can relate to. The song is melodic, with emotive lyrics and it’s full of lively riffs, with a change of
tempo at the bridge that adds atmospheric interest. The rhythm section make a dynamic duo and really drive the song forward, with hard hitting drums and resonating bass perfect partners for the
gritty guitars and impressive vocal range.
Although ‘Ain’t Nothin’ Going On’ originally featured on the band’s debut EP ‘Blood Not Brass’, the guys felt it had evolved over time and needed reworking. The song tackles a subject that fellow musicians may be familiar with - of being accused of playing away from home whilst out on tour. This song is about how emotionally draining and frustrating it is having to defend yourself repeatedly even though you have done nothing wrong. The pounding drumming at the beginning from Sam Edwards, with frenetic bass work from Pete Adam create a feeling of angst, before Ben’s vocals add to that with the lyrics and him almost spitting out the words. There is some serious riffage in this track from Charlie Richards, and the vocals and harmonious backing vocals weave in and out of the bracing guitar licks.
‘Lost With You’ is a laid back track about all-encompassing love, the kind it feels like you’ve been waiting for your whole life, like in the movies, being completely absorbed by that person and spending every moment with them. Understated, with wonderfully clear and emotive vocals from Ben and delicate riffs from Ben and Charlie, this is a feel good song. Say the guys, “You become lost in whom they are and you can’t get enough of being around them. All you have to offer is yourself and you offer it without a second thought because you’ve been waiting to find a connection as strong as this all your life”.
‘Face To Face’ was written “based on a situation Ben found himself in one night in a club. A girl had started talking to him at the bar, but her recent ex-boyfriend was watching the entire time. The song is written from the perspective of the jealous man as he watches this unfold in front of him…The important message from the song is that these situations can be diffused, if people were to talk” This track has Charlie’s guitar singing beautifully before it gets wonderfully distorted, and the whole song is a delicious amalgamation of soul and blues-rock. Ben’s vocals are powerful and you can feel the bitterness and resentment in his voice as the story in the lyrics is played out against the driving beat of the rhythm section.
‘Need Your Love’ is a groovy, soulful song about being in a relationship where you realise that you have been pushing someone away even though you really need them. It’s about not taking that person for granted any longer. It’s packed with skilful riffs and funky fretwork. ‘Take It Or Leave It’ is “about standing up for yourself and what you believe in. You can be accused of wrong doing or being unfair but at some point you have to take stock in your own values. Sometimes people can victimise themselves to make you feel guilty, even though they are the ones causing friction. This track is all about standing your ground and knowing when to walk away”. Clever use of distorted guitar gives a ’70s psychedelic vibe to parts of the song. The song has louder parts interspersed with quieter interludes which work really well, the focus shifting completely to highlight each instrument.
‘Lay It On Me’ is a song designed to get people up and dancing, with lots of funky, jingling guitars, backing vocals and sing-a-long choruses. It’s about letting somebody know they can open up to you and share their problems with you; it’s about reminding people that you care about them and that you’re there for them. Although the subject matter is deep, the upbeat approach makes it feel rather more lighthearted. Also reworked from the ‘Blood Not Brass’ EP, 'On My Knees’ is about feeling lost and trying to find your path in life. When it was written, Ben and Sam had the vision of a man in a desert with the hot sand burning the soles of his feet, desperately trying to find his way out of the wasteland. It has a delicious blues riff from the outset that is a real earworm, and Ben’s sliding vocals sound incredible.
‘Waiting On You’ was on the band’s last EP, ‘Rise Up’, and is about someone who gives their partner an ultimatum, hoping that this will facilitate a change. The band felt that the song was unfinished, so completed it with the addition of ‘Moving On’, a rumination about how the choice of moving away from that relationship, no matter how difficult, always works out for the best. Ending the album with this laid back track brings the emotional journey full circle. Rather than being a typical ballad about lost love, it feels so uplifting and positive. After ‘Waiting On You’/‘Moving On’ finishes I’m left feeling in rather a contemplative mood. This album is such a personal reflection of a turbulent period in vocalist Ben’s life, but within each track there are elements that certainly most of us can relate to on some level. The lyrics are insightful and intelligently written, musically each song feels organic and invigorating, each instrument is masterfully handled and Ben’s vocals range from raw to soulful in the blink of an eye. I think Rainbreakers have something really special in ‘Face to Face’.
Ben Edwards - vocals/guitar
Charlie Richards - lead guitar
Pete Adam - bass
Sam Edwards - drums
‘Face To Face’ track listing:-
Got Me Where She Wants
Ain’t Nothin’ Going On
Lost With You
Face To Face
Need Your Love
Take It Or Leave It
Lay It On Me
On My Knees
Waiting On You/Moving On
Catch Rainbreakers on tour at these dates:-
07.09.18 Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh
08.09.18 McChuill’s, Glasgow
15.09.18 The Musician, Leicester
20.09.18 Underground, Plymouth
22.09.18 The Acorn, Penzance
23.09.18 Cobblestones, Bridgwater
26.09.18 Half Moon, Putney
29.09.18 Carlisle Blues Festival, Carlisle
06.10.18 Hartlepool Supporters Club, Hartlepool
09.10.18 Tuesday Night Music Club, Coulsdon
11.10.18 The Flowerpot, Derby
19.10.18 Albert’s Shed, Shrewsbury
25.10.18 Facebar, Reading
26.10.18 The Louisiana, Bristol
Find out more here:-
Official website - http://www.therainbreakers.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Rainbreakers/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/RainbreakersUK
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/rainbreakersofficial/
Spotify - https://open.spotify.com/artist/
Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/the-rainbreakers