RAIN: La Vache Qui Rit: CD

I’ve made my hatred of emo no secret, but I have in recent years conceded that maybe its earliest adherents weren’t exactly the pox on punk I initially thought they were, and Rain reinforces that newfound attitude. Featuring former members of Youth Brigade (DC) and Gray Matter, to name a few, this EP, originally recorded in 1987 and released in 1990, is drenched in the melding of post punk and hardcore that gave Washington DC’s “Revolution Summer” group of bands that distinct sound—a mixture of Wire, Gang of Four, reggae’s loping bass lines, and the off-kilter thrash of bands like Faith, Minor Threat, and Deadline. Unlike the vast bulk of millions of lesser bands that followed, however, the “punk” aspect is never lost amongst the artier aspects of what’s going on, giving the music an immediacy and the necessary “edge” to vault the music past “pretentious noodling” and into the “music as catharsis” camp. I may still hate emo as much as I do cauliflower, but this is some pretty fine listenin’.

 –jimmy (Peterbilt)