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Media Type: CD
Artist: RAIN PARADE
Title: EMERGENCY THIRD RAIL
Street Release Date: 08/01/2002
Greatest Neo-Psychedelic Album - EVER
Wileytown | Morristown, TN United States | 05/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of my favorite records! Fans of the Byrds and early Pink Floyd will find a home here. Essential and required!EMERGENCY's appearance in '84 was mindblowing. An album of its type had not been seen since '67-'68. Given the trends of the time, it was totally unexpected, but ohhhh soooo welcomed!!The album stands on its own feet, relying on inspiration from its forbearers instead of nostalgic plagarism. The DNA might be obvious, but the mutation is completely unique - as it should be! Ghostly Floyd-inspired organ lines collide with Byrdsy Rickenbacker chimes and harmonies. Along with True West, The Long Ryders, Green on Red and Dream Syndicate, I was hopeful that a second golden age of psychedelic-folk music was beginning to flourish. Alas, this was not to be. By '87 Rain Parade and most its compatriots would be gone. But for a while there.........Oh well, at least we were left with this wonderful record!!A WORD OF URGENCY: This disk has had a history of going in and out of print quickly. If you are a fan of fine psychedelic music, buy it immediately! It deserves a rightful place along side PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN (Floyd), NOTORIOUS BYRD BROTHERS (Byrds), and ANTHEM OF THE SUN (Dead)!Enjoy!!!!"
Best American Band from the 80's
ravcon | Charlotte, NC United States | 06/04/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a classic. If you can find it, get it. These guys were the only american band worthy of recognition to come out of the 80's. If your a fan of dreamy, psychedelic pop in the vein of The Beatles, The Birds, The Kinks, and Pink Floyd, and the Zombies, you'll love this. Believe me."
Psychedelia-Lite; An Overlooked Piece of Trippy Nostalgia
John L Murphy | 06/15/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Pop Kulcher Review: The Rain Parade were one of the better bands in Southern California's early-80s "paisley underground," presenting a laid-back, neo-psychedelic sound that made for excellent (if relatively unexciting) background music. This album is full of melodic, meandering gems which hang in their air and wash over you. Despite a reasonable amount of reverb creating an odd distancing effect, the psychedelic feel is created more through relaxed pacing and jangling guitars than through special effects. A thoroughly enjoyable outing for sixties afficianados. (Guitarist David Roback later formed Opal with the Dream Syndicate's Kendra Smith, as well as the better known Mazzy Star.)"
ravcon | 05/10/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you're a fan of classic psychedelic rock, such as Sgt Pepper-era Beatles, early Pink Floyd, and the Byrds, you will LOVE this album. Every song bursts forth with great melodies and trippy instrumentation -- a wonderful listen from start to finish!"
"I'm old enough to have remembered this hometown band and I had bought the LP and EP when they came out--so, how have two decades and more effected my reception now to Rain Parade's sounds? A caution for anyone expecting from the CD title(s) some acid-drenched freakout. This is decidedly a bit narcoleptic--it lacks the full-blown (or bloated) effects that so many original (circa 1966/7) inspirations and neo-psych contemporaries piled on top of their winsome tunes. RP's more austere. Sort of like The Three O'Clock if they were less exuberant or chipper--or twee? Not as raucous as Salvation Army, but you can hear in RP hints of the earlier punk-pop scene in the three vocalists' untutored but determined delivery of downbeat lyrics.
The first six songs on this CD reissue, that is, the first half of the E3rdRail LP, sound in retrospect much like Opal, except with male vocals rather than Kendra Smith's dreamier, sleepy style. These songs tend to move contemplatively, with nearly no obvious pandering to a more pop sensibility or a poser's easy donning of the outward style without the secret attitude that marks true psych. Rather than provide glaring flourishes, they retreat. They hold back rather than release tension.
While other listeners have heard more baroque influences in these grooves, I do not: as I found way back in its vinyl versions, RP creates more ambience by suggestion rather than action. The music's quiet, and made for introspection, as the band's name portends.
The liveliest cuts come on side 2, the next five songs, that is, side 2 of the LP. These sound much more like a band playing Sunset Strip such as Buffalo Springfield, or the politer side of the emerging psychedelic LA pioneers. Janglier, more effusive, with vocals mixed more to the front, and plaintive if convincingly earnest musical and singing projection that appeals more to the pop side of this style. These are more accessible cuts than side one--a surprise that flips the usual sequencing of albums.
The final songs come from their later EP. This isn't the noisefest that the title seems to promise. The songs are more fleshed out with noticeably but still subtly more emphatic (although still restrained by comparison with many neo-psych bands) production and arranging. These last songs occupy a middle ground between the two styles on the LP, with a sound that settles down and blends the gloomier dirges with the peppier-poppish song-styles.
Fans of Opal and perhaps the later Mazzy Star might like this album, as it shows David Roback and company--many of whom backed the later bands (see also the Rainy Day side project, the RP's odds-and-ends Demolition LP, and the non-D. Roback remnants of the band shifting into Viva Saturn) preparing for their later reliance on narcoleptic female faux-folkish singers, Kendra Smith, in fact, is credited on one song here. This is the sound that sparked a decade or so of activity along the same doleful paths into the center of the haunted mind.
What RP has in common with later 80s/early 90s LA neo-psych is their concentration, and rather somber, self-important stance (which comes with any D. Roback-helmed record it seems). The band favors an often langorous, more swirling sound that deepens these musicians' trek into the mind more than the body, to mirror the interior, less obvious, effect of the SoCal pop-turns-psych 1966-7 sounds that, somehow, endured to re-surface with this band, beginning in the aftermath of punk and the accompanying stirrings of renewed countryish-indie-rock among those too young for hippies but old enough for early punk...and then branching out into the past 60s sounds to make them fresh again, around 15-20 years later after the groovy Sunset Strip era in LA."