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Rainburn: Vignettes

I was lucky enough to encounter Indian progressive rock/metal outfit Rainburn through their 2018 album, Insignify, but did wonder with the passing of five years, whether they were still a going concern. An interesting and in places invigorating journey, for my money the band’s previous outing may have lacked for just a little focus, with the word ‘meandering’ often coming to mind as the album played out. Tightening things up was the order of the day and it’s something with Vignettes that I’d suggest this outfit have taken to heart…maybe too much so. Featuring 9 tracks, the longest selection on this occasion is 5 minutes 7 seconds, with 3 falling around the 3 and a half minute mark or less. Obviously, that in itself isn’t a problem, but for me it does leave this album feeling just a little concise and to the point, and one or two of the songs a little perfunctory.

As a theme Rainburn are peering into the world of life in a metropolis across Vignettes and with song titles such as “Outrage Seeking Generation Z Brain”, “Bad Cop/Bad Cop” and “False Positives”, I’m guessing that they don’t really like what they see. Cleverly, while there are a few aggressive moments and grating riffs, often these observations are married to sounds that offer much more melodically soothing options, with both elements brought together to seek interesting dynamics - “Love Probably”, for example, a swaying dance one moment and an angry outburst the next. Singer (and guitarist) Vats Iyengar does a good job of matching these ever changing emotions, although he may not be the most classical of singers, his emotive style on the likes of the full throttle “Bad Cop/Bad Cop” adds a surprisingly punky edge that fits the musical melee perfectly. In fact here things almost at times tumble into a grunge meets Tool like framework that barely holds together, but at volume does hit home. Following on from a rather beautiful guitar interlude titled “Siesta”, if there’s one thing this album is, it’s eclectic. However, with the aforementioned shortness of most of the songs, it does also have a hint of being a little schizophrenic.

I’ve sat with Vignettes for quite a few weeks now and find it as disjointed as I did when I first clapped ears on it. At times wonderment and majesty appear and at others confusion reins. In truth, to my ears anyway, just like the album’s cover, it all feels just a little too much like Rainburn are trying to be all things to all people.

Track Listing
1. Identity
2. Listen Through The Noise
3. Outrage Seeking Generation Z Brain
4. Love Probably
5. Siesta
6. Bad Cop/Bad Cop
7. False Postsive
8. Party People
9. Woofs, Purrs And Moos

Added: November 17th 2023
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Rainburn
Hits: 278
Language: english

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