Radio Massacre International - "Rain Falls in Grey" (Cuneiform Records 2007, Rune 256)
From Aural Innovations #38 (January 2008)
Radio Massacre International (RMI) are a UK based trio who have an extensive discography dating back to 1995, though I only discovered them with their first release for Cuneiform Records (see AI #31). The band consists of Steve Dinsdale, Gary Houghton and Duncan Goddard, all on an array of guitars, keyboards, synthesizers and percussion. Their new album, Rain Falls in Grey, is inspired by Syd Barrett, and, as stated in the album notes, is the band's way of saying goodbye and thanks to a genuine one-off.
The CD opens with the 17 minute title track, an electrifying Space-Prog expedition that is Piper at the Gates of Dawn influenced, but also draws on a variety of early 70s Kosmiche infused progressive styles. We've got classic 70s keyboards, a variety of electronics that add an experimental edge to the music, killer space guitar, and Martin Archer guests on saxophone, adding a bit of swing to the proceedings. Things get pretty frenzied at times, alternating between the more overtly Floydian sounds and just rocking out in space.
"Bett'r Day-s" is a grooving spaced out instrumental with lots of tasty guitar work, both cool soloing and screaming licks. Later in the track we get into Tangerine Dream/Ash Ra Tempel territory, the overall result being a nice cosmic jam tune. "Shut Up" is a shorter track that's a clear nod to early exploratory Pink Floyd, especially the "One Of These Days" guitar bits and voices. This leads directly into "Syd", another (obviously intentional) total Floyd influenced piece (the EARLY truly cosmic stuff). "Emissary" starts off as a mellow, floating, deep space piece that would be right at home on Ummagumma. But it soon develops into something from later Floyd, with trademark Gilmour styled jamming guitar and more saxophone. Luscious!! The first several minutes of "…Far Away" recall the opening to "Shine On You Crazy Diamond". But then it segues into a more purely space ambient and electro orchestral floating piece, along with jamming blues guitar. A nice peaceful finale to an outstanding album. Definitely more of a rock element than their 2005 Emissaries album. Oh, and check out the cool artwork by Daevid Allen.
For more information you can visit the Radio Massacre International web site at: http://www.radiomassacreinternational.com.
Visit the Cuneiform Records web site at: http://www.cuneiformrecords.com.
At the time this review was written the band's outstanding live performance on Gagliarchives radio, November 15, 2007, was available for free download. Check it out at: http://www.gagliarchives.com.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz