Exposé Online banner

Rains — Apokalyptische Stadt
(Mellow MMP 400, 1999, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2001-12-01

Apokalyptische Stadt Cover art

This quartet from Verona, Italy plays a freewheeling experimental grunge-jazz infected rock, driven by dual guitars, tenor sax and drums. Half the time they are out on the edge, the other half finds them in cool funky grooves, strangely reminiscent of bands like Kraan, though most of the time this is a bit more laid back, with saxes leading the melodic assault. While no bassist is credited, there’s definitely a strong bass presence, possibly supplied by the lower registers of one of the guitarists, or maybe the credits have a typo (sure sounds like a real bass to this writer!). When things get chaotic one might be reminded of the improvisational moments of some Cutler and Frith projects of late, with guitars and saxes going off in every direction, and the drums attempting to tie it all together. The balance between the two extremes is good – one feeds the other, and in the end a stronger union of diverse elements exists, which should offer strong appeal for jazz minded and experimental travelers alike, but also the rock elements are strong enough to anchor it all to a driving beat. There’s a strong sense of humor too, as in “Noire”, which ties a twisted “My Sharona”-like riff to walking sax and guitar solos. Tracks like “Wild Joint” offer an almost psychedelic jazz character with an anarchic zeuhlish twist. This took a few plays to warm up to, but in the end there’s plenty to hold the listener’s interest. File under different.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 23, 1999 releases

Related artist(s): Rains

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the ago of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Azigza - From X to Y – This three-song CD is intended as a sort of preview of Azigza’s upcoming full-length release, which should be out sometime in 2003, hopefully before too late in the year. I first heard this San...  (2003) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues