“Supergroups” as they are deemed are a mixed bag. How do you get various personalities from different bands in a studio and make it sound like a cohesive unit? Will there be mutinies and head clashing along the way? These are very pressing questions. Rain City Rockers who are comprised of members from bands such as Sum 41, Die Mannequin, GOB and Goldfinger came together and recorded their debut album, Mayday in one take. (did they have coffee?) You have to admit – that’s really impressive considering some bands who have been playing together for years are not able to do that. Mayday is a cut and dry “jam” record. It’s as if you start a band with some friends and who just hammer out fun songs. Let’s just go into the garage and put down whatever we feel at the moment.
The feeling that found me while I was listening to the record – as I’m sure that this was a new experience for every member, Mayday did not sound awkward or unsure. The composition is aware of what it wants to do and what types of music it wants to attack. It’s as if these guys had been playing together for years and came back to pick up where they left off. The lyrics of the album are not too complex, but anybody will be able to sing along to them. Vocalist Andrew Conroy‘s lyrics are often written from a younger person’s point-of-view and it sounds silly at times, but refreshing. “I let myself fall down/I trip myself around/and now I’m in the ground”. The first song, “Mindful Madness” sets the familiarity, especially if you are a fan of all the bands involved in this project.(Complete with the backing vocals that would make Beach Boy fans jump up in glee). Guitarist Tom Thacker chimes into a couple tracks with a guitar solo here and there. The overall sound of Mayday is tight knit and raw.
“Tori” has 311/reggae/sky-type elements that slow the album down, but does not mellow it out. With Mayday, as you listen completely, you know what you are getting. “Who Do You Think You Are” and “Change of Pace” shows the band venturing territory that Green Day and Blink 182 have left behind with the catchy pop-punk etiquette. Sometimes you just want to revisit old music and dance and Rain City definitely appeases that. “She Doesn’t Even Know” talks about the days where there was that ONE girl that didn’t know you existed, but you admired her from afar. “She doesn’t even know that she’s what I’m looking for/She doesn’t even know that I want to give her more”.
It was kind of nice to go back to the days where I grabbed a skateboard and griped about the simple things. Mayday is almost like a polaroid that you dig out and say remember when. Music is meant to be a getaway some of the time and Rain City Rockers exhibit this from front to back.