Exposé Online banner

Radio Massacre International — Rain Falls in Grey
(Cuneiform Rune 256, 2007, CD)

by Paul Hightower, 2009-07-01:

Rain Falls in Grey Cover art Head pixie Daevid Allen’s cover art, featuring a colorful half-toned rendition of Syd Barrett, provides the first clue as to what lies within this jewel case. Call it retro-psych, post-modern psych, psych psych… whatever. I call it pretty damn good. British trio Radio Massacre International are better known for their EM and space rock, though Barrett’s death – days before they began work on the album – forced a course correction resulting in this disk, a sort of love letter to Syd that’s more than just a tribute. Echoes of Floyd circa '67/'68 do poke their heads through the patchouli haze, including nods to “Astronomie Dominie” and “Interstellar Overdrive” within the four-part extravaganza that opens the album and which comes crashing to a close on the succinctly titled “Syd.” It encompasses many classic psych rock trademarks pioneered by Barrett-era Floyd, but also echoing Daevid Allen’s work with early Gong, and even the intense psych rock of early Porcupine Tree. Several tracks are graced by the saxes, clarinets, and flutes of Martin Archer whose playing lends them the same soulful magic that Dick Parry gave the Floyd on their seminal mid 70s albums. The album closes with a spacious and bluesy guitar improvisation by Gary Houghton that is emotionally wrenching and about as heartfelt a musical statement as I’ve heard in a long time. RMI fans expecting more Berlin-school EM may be in for a surprise with this one, but I have a feeling it will be a pleasant one.

by Jon Davis, 2009-07-01:

I was initially concerned that my lack of experience with RMI’s back catalog might be a hindrance to writing a useful review. I needn’t have worried, since this release is a drastic departure from the general thrust of their previous work. Far from being another entry into their oeuvre of sequenced electronic sounds, this is a rocking stab into the heart of space rock. As a tribute to Syd Barrett, early Pink Floyd is the jumping off point for a set of tunes both epic and compact, free and composed. The guest players on wind instruments and electric violin add dimensions to the music that, while maintaining a clear connection to their inspiration, even Syd and Co. never dreamed of. The sax work on the title track makes me think of Sun Ra covering “Interstellar Overdrive” – which is not a bad thing at all. Some sequencing pops up from time to time, reminding the listener that maybe the distance between Dark Side of the Moon (post-Syd, I know) and Phaedra is maybe not so far as you would think. I doubt many Exposé readers believe that space rock is a dead genre, but this stellar (pun intended) release is ample evidence to anyone who cares to listen that there’s life in the old starship yet. And given the versatility that is amply shown here, I will be very concerned if I hear RMI’s next album will take on symphonic prog. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Filed under: New releases , Issue 37 , 2007 releases

Related artist(s): Radio Massacre International, Cyndee Lee Rule, Martin Archer

More info

Latest news

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

2018-02-26
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Clepsydra - Fears – Swiss quintet Clepsydra sport your typical neo-prog lineup of vocals/guitar/bass/keys and drums and on Fears they hold true to the neo-prog sound. Early Marillion comes to mind, especially on the...  (1999) » Read more

Tatsuya Yoshida & Ron Anderson - A Is for Accident – This duo of Yoshida on drums and vocals and Anderson on guitar and vocals, is rather in the style of Ruins, the group which Yoshida a led, along with various bassists, and occasional guitarists....  (1999) » Read more

Marillion - Made Again – Made Again marks the first official release live album documenting the Hogarth era, and contains tracks from all four studio albums represented by the current lineup. The 2CD set is made up of a live...  (1996) » Read more

Thinking Plague - A History of Madness – Most music critics (and listeners too) tend to get caught up in the genre game when describing music. We think in terms of qualities like loud/soft, electric/acoustic, rocks/doesn’t. But there...  (2003) » Read more

IZZ - My River Flows – You have to hand it to IZZ, five years of hard work is increasingly paying off in terms of recognition. Their third proper studio release, My River Flows, continues their trend of melding progressive,...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues