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Rain Falls in Grey

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Album Review

Rain Falls in Grey is Radio Massacre International's second album for Cuneiform Records, after who knows how many albums in their career overall. More important, though, this is one of their most accessible releases, both in terms of style and availability. It remains true to RMI's sound, but it has a distinctly more potent rock flavor — psychedelic rock, in fact. A tribute to Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett, who died days before the first recording sessions, Rain Falls in Grey succeeds in capturing Barrett's sound world — or at least the elements that have had an influence on RMI's music. The album opens with the glorious 17-minute title track, a highly inspired psychedelic rock improvisation featuring uplifting glissando guitar and the saxophones of guest Martin Archer. (Wasn't it Barrett's wish to add a horn section to Pink Floyd before he was retired from the band?) "Syd" and the closing "...Far Away" are also hosts for the spirit of early Pink Floyd. Keyboards and synthesizers are relegated to the back row through most of the album — a departure from Emissaries, the group's previous opus for Cuneiform — to make way for Gary Houghton's dreamy guitar lines. Archer's presence (on saxes, clarinets, and flutes) helps build a special aura around Rain Falls in Grey. An experimental improviser and electro-acoustic composer, Archer has been on a comeback toward more accessible music (the jazz project Hornweb, the folk group Army of Briars), and here he carves himself a nice nest within RMI's core trio, convincingly enough to raise hope for further collaborations. Rain Falls in Grey goes beyond the tribute album to become one of the group's best-paced and most welcoming albums yet. Also worthy of note is the colorful cover artwork signed by Gong's Daevid Allen. ~ François Couture, Rovi

Rain Falls in Grey, Radio Massacre International
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