Post-punk quintet Raindance returns with a new EP titled New Blood, available starting next Saturday at AS220 when the South Coast locals (spread across Swansea and New Bedford, as well as Tiverton and Middletown) support reunited headliners Verse (viva la '90s in 2012!). Pick up tix in advance as this one will probably sell out prior to showtime.
A few years back, vocalist Sean O'Brien and lead guitarist Dean Forsythe formed Outrage and eventually saved enough for a six-week tour around Europe. A name change and personnel shuffling ensued in early 2011, and the overseas networking ultimately paid dividends: a rep from Italy-based punk label Epidemic Records inquired about re-releasing the Outrage 7" "Sold Souls" (which includes a meaty cover of Helmet's "In the Meantime") and invited the band to hop the pond in support of the record, which resulted in a successful, three-week DIY jaunt spanning 10 countries. Not too shabby, particularly considering all band members are under the age of 25, and with no real monetary backing.
"There isn't much money in the style of music we play, so we did what five eager young adults would do to save money and escape real life for a small amount of time — we worked and worked until we all could afford plane tickets," O'Brien says. "I look at this way — I get to go on vacation with four of my best friends for weeks at a time for a little over a thousand bucks. I can't complain."
Drummer Adam Benoit concedes that while the band has received further international invites, no one is backing up the Brinks truck at Raindance HQ.
"Being an unsigned band, tours like that really drain us financially and we need recovery time in between," he says. "But this summer we'll be hitting the US pretty hard."
The six tracks comprising New Blood careen around that "metalcore" or "screamo" territory ("We're a ' '90s-hardcore-rock-whatever' band," Benoit offers), following a few quick strikes in 2011 (look up the name-your-price digital EP You and I), as well as a recently-released cover of "Riot Rhythm" by Sleigh Bells. Hardcore acts such as Botch and Converge come to mind as reference points when cueing up the New Blood tracks "Black Lungs," Ryan Briggs gets his bass cab rumbling hard on "Bloodlust," and guitarists Kaycee "Ninevolt" Morricone and Dean Forsythe choke the fretboards on "Dine with the Devil." The stoner-sludge downshifting on the EP opener "Bottle Throated Kings" eventually gives way and all hell breaks loose behind O'Brien's raspy growls. (By the way, there's nothing mystical behind the band moniker — Raindance is named for a song by Memphis crust punks His Hero Is Gone.)
Pick up the Raindance catalog for short money at their Bandcamp site, and look up a full live set (recently filmed at a show in Maine) on YouTube. By the end of the 25-minute set the band is thumping full throttle on "Bastard Sons," a killer cut from You and I.
O'Brien feels confident about the current lineup and praised his Raindance mates: "We added really talented and smart musicians in Ryan, Adam, and Ninevolt," he says. "The writing and recording process was a really strong group effort."
Raindance tour dates are trickling in (including a good one in June at the Met with Ceremony, Soul Control, and Screaming Females), and the band will make its debut at the annual post-punk throwdown known as the Fest in Gainesville, FL in October, a hefty lineup which also includes 7 Seconds, Braid (!), and Titus Andronicus, plus PVD locals Soul Control and Weak Teeth and buzz-garnering New Bedford friends A Wilhelm Scream.
RAINDANCE + MY FICTIONS + LIKE WOLVES + VERSE | Saturday, May 19 @ 8 pm | AS220, Empire Street, Providence | $8 | 401.831.9327 | raindancehc.bandcamp.com