“Rain Maker” by The Grotto

July 15, 2006

Writing reviews the past few weeks has been hard. I had one I needed to do because the band was hitting town, another because I’d had the CD so long it was becoming embarrassing … and, you know.

But a friend/coworker dropped off The Grotto’s CD in the middle of this. I listened and immediately wanted to fling the other reviews aside and share the great sounds coming out of The Grotto. So what this other international band was coming to town – The Grotto is already here! They are OURS! And they rock.

This CD is a four-song shortie and it was a blast. Perfect to drop into the CD player and fill your commute with local sounds. “Nothing” starts out slows and then hits a very sweet groove. The music and lyrics sound so polished, it makes me proud. What is too hot about this song is that about three minutes in the guitars and Jake Ruybal’s vocals just explode. What a great way to finish off a meaningful song.

“All You Need” lets us know right away that we’re dealing with a multi-talented band, as Lyndsy Pritchard takes her turn on vocals. The chorus of this song is so intense and head-filling it made my hair stand up the first time through. Some excellent keyboard work adds to the originality of this tune, taking it from a “Hey, Fleetwood Mac could have done this” song to something altogether with and beyond its time.

Although a great listen, “No One But Me” is (in my questionable opinion) the “weakest” song on the CD – that’s not to say it’s weak like weak – just comparing it to the others, the vocals are a bit cloudy. The guitars come out so clear and sharp … maybe that’s why the vocals seem a little underdone. The song breaks about two-thirds of the way through and really showcases the instruments. The vocals do pump up, but not enough to break free. Definitely not a song-killer, because this band is clearly made up of talented musicians.

“Rain Maker” is a haunting mix. I really enjoy the almost unsettling shifts in the music and mood. Pritchard’s smooth vocals do perfect service to the lyrics. I don’t know who composes what, but this band is as tight as any that’s been around the block 20 or 30 times. What an outrageous and wondrous thing that they are from Junction. God, this town rocks!

Grab some CDs and other cool stuff on the band’s site Web site. I’m going to be sporting The Eye t-shirt ASAP.

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