Black Rain; The: Water Shape
Water Shape is the second album from Italians The Black Rain and a neat little collection of diversity, which remains firmly in the box marked "rock", it makes. Mirko Greco leads from the front, his vocals crisp, clean, full of character and capable of the shape-shifting the album title alludes to. "Shadows" may not be the most obvious opener, in the sense that it's maybe the most obvious track on show. Riff n' roll is where it's at, add in a chanting chorus and sharp solo and that's about the size of it. However "Mesmerize" introduces a Bluesy almost Grungey side, before the wonderful, restrained, "Rock 'n' Roll Guy" apes the heartbroken sound Paw refined so well many years back; it's an album highlight. And interestingly for an album which rocks convincingly throughout, it is in these moments where The Black Rain keep a lid on things, that they hit hardest; "Without Love", which reminds of John Wesley's acoustic solo work, being a fine case in point, while the low rumbling "King Of Stones" closes the album in fine, brooding, style.
However with guitarist Eugenio Bonifazi willing to throw out hook laden riffs when the mood takes him, don't be surprised if "(S)He's So Amazing", which has the lyrical twist its name suggests... has you singing along in a Tyketto like way, or "Brand New Shoes" quickly wears out your shiny Doc Martens through its foot stomping beat. Not all of the eleven (and a hidden bonus) tracks hit the spot with quite the same accuracy, yet for a second album from a band working out of a country hardly famed for its straight up rock, The Black Rain give a really good account of themselves. Thankfully, even with a couple of the songs being either instrumental, or a little tongue in cheek, lyrically things are strong, diverse and engaging, with serious subjects racked up alongside the odd throwaway shitkicker. However Water Shape makes its strongest impact through the confident set of songs it contains and a vocalist capable of raising everything he touches by more than a couple of notches. If you're looking for an album that does exactly what it says on the tin – and offers more than a handful of neat sidesteps, then what The Black Rain have served up here will fit your bill nicely.
3. Rock'n'roll Guy
4. (S)he's so Amazing
5. Robert Johnson
6. Times of Trouble
7. Brand New Shoes
8. Without Love
9. Flamenco Dancer
11. King of Stones
Added: March 28th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: The Black Rain on Facebook
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