*DISCLAIMER: Early copy of this EP was sent by the band themselves though this has no impact on our overall verdict*
By Gregor Farquharson (@Gregoratlantic)
The surge of music talent in Scotland over the past decade has been nothing short of amazing. Bands like Biffy, Twin Atlantic and Fatherson have all had the big break they deserve, and many others have started gaining well-deserved recognition. It seems new bands are popping up from all over the wee country, and the surge shows no sign of slowing down.
Perth alt-rockers Stop The Rain are one of the many small bands eager to make a name for themselves in an ever growing scene. Having released the absolute beautiful track Home Is Where My Heart Is back in 2016, the band have released another two singles, their unique blend of guitar and synth really makes them stand from the crowd in the Scottish scene.
The EP opens up with the massive track Your Head’s A Prison. The opener gives us an almost instant good vibe feel to it. A high pitched guitar riff followed by beautiful sounding vocals opens the track and gives us a very good idea of the sound the band wants to achieve. The unique use of synthesizer blends perfectly with the tone of the guitars and vocals. The chorus of this track is absolutely massive, brilliantly working the unique vocals of Blair Davie and Sam Steele. The tracks bridge goes straight into a section of the repeated lyrics “Just cave in feels like I want to” before leaping brilliantly into the exquisite chorus.
This then leads us into track two of the EP, Cut The Chord. A slower paced song than the EP opener, the song still has the unique alt rock feel the band are aiming for. The buildup to the chorus is, again, a joy to the ears. As for the chorus, it is much more simplistic than that of the previous track, yet still, packs a punch that would grab any listeners almost immediate attention. The bridge of the track features some deeper lyrics, of which you’d expect from much more experienced song writers and not from a 17-year-old. The track fades out with what sounds like a drum machine, and a deep sounding synth, again uniquely using the instrument to its advantage.
Third track Side Effect opens with the same drums that ended the track prior, before bringing in the vocals, and adding guitars part by part, which eventually culminates in a huge sounding section. It slows back down, with the vocals again taking the center stage of the track. The track utilises every instrument of the band brilliantly, with a superb sounding bassline in the background throughout. The bridge of the song shows off the young band’s guitar skills, with around 30 seconds of pure guitar based work playing, to which the track completely slows down, and fades into the final track on the EP, and lead single, Sinking.
This track opens up with a quiet riff, before quickly building up to an arena sized rock sounding opening section, an impressive feat for the young alt 5 piece. It’s easy to hear the absolute skill that has gone into the production of the album, with instruments fading in and out almost seamlessly. This is down to the superb work of Mark Morrow Audio. The song has an amazing sounding section building up to the chorus, which is very reminiscent of bands such as Vistas and Fatherson. The chorus itself is again nothing but utter musical class, using highs and lows of the vocalist’s ability to uniquely create a beautiful, unique sound. It’s easy to see that the band have written the bridge of the song in order to be played live, building bit by bit before jumping into what would be a jumpy moment for any crowd.
The EP ends on what the band are brilliant at – using harmonies effectively, something many big bands try hard to master. If this EP is anything to go by, Stop The Rain are going to sky rocket in the Scottish music infrastructure, and certainly be playing bigger gigs than they are just now.
The Sinking EP is due to be released on all major platforms on the 15th September and is also available for pre order on the band’s website.