reviewed by Jack Derricourt
Salmo, BC sounds like a typical British Columbia town. The Wiki marks it as a former mining site, a land of depleted salmon, and “a quiet community with numerous outdoor activities including hiking, fishing, biking, golfing and skiing.” Of course, the ‘Pedia constructivists forgot to add in the playing of rock and roll music — but online archives often leave out the deep, space rock underbelly of any locale.
Rainboard exist in the psychological mine shafts of Salmo, bmx bike down the dammed riverbeds, hatch like baby eagles out of the garage and fly onto the tape deck; thanks to Arachnadiscs newly resurrected indie rock imprint No Love, Rainboard’s 2013 recordings, The Midnight Slide, have finally been rustled up in cassette form, capable of all sorts of action in the minds of listeners nation-wide.
What is the heart of this collection of songs? Well, a great deal of guitar, surely. Drums that drive and pump the blood. The songs were recorded in houses, and sound like the winter games of two astute listeners of all things space rock and shoegaze. The vocals trail off discreetly, the sound sense mattering more than the content in the mix and yawing drawl of the tunes.
How can a music be both hypnotic and incredibly active? The songs on The Midnight Slide psych you out as they gear up: “Mating Calls” does the loud-quiet-loud format with real originality, playing up the outer rim distances and the chugging chord progressions; while “Teenaged Angst of a Forty Year Old aka The Awkward Song” and “Lightning Skull” go light on the lyrics to provide more scenic crusts of crashing cymbals and pulsating overtones of guitar distortion. The music of the cassette is capable of doing a great deal of work in a short span of time. The level of compact delivery is quite impressive, but the complete package of the record, its original uniformity is the highlight for me: the sound of the cassette is of a piece, yet the songs stretch out in enough variety that it all stays fresh.
No Love did all Canadian ears a favour by putting Rainboard’s ghost town rock and roll heart onto a cassette. The songs hold secrets, brought down from the mountain and into the machine, and should be played at an appropriately loud volume whenever you get the chance.
Top Track: “Mating Calls”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)