Abstract Vision is the second EP from up and coming Swindon shoegazers Rain. Formed in 2015, Rain began making waves a year later, releasing an EP, Symphony Pains. It was three tracks of blissed out shoegaze recalling My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive, and received attention in the UK from BBC Radio 1, and KEXP in Seattle. Since then, they spent the next year working on Abstract Vision at the respected Ranch Production House in Southampton with Lewis Johns (Muncie Girls, Funeral For a Friend) on production duties. The EP shows the band’s burgeoning promise, making for an enthralling listen.
Rain base their sound around heavily layered guitars and colossal drums. This was evident on previous single ‘Slur’, but on Abstract Vision, they have developed as songwriters, using their poppy sensibilities to great effect. In comparison to Symphony Pains, the five tracks are captivating and are delivered with a passion and honesty that’ll take them far.
The EP starts with ‘Petrichor’. It’s explosive, with big epic guitars and a rumbling bassline. The production is stunning, the crashing drums making a huge impact as they mesh beautifully with the guitars. The lyrics are sung with an honest intensity that the listener feels every word: “Gazing at my wilted image, I trace around the frame / of a stranger’s vacant face, I never found my pain.” The driving riff gives way to feedback, which transitions straight into ‘Twist the Knife’. In comparison, this track is more melancholic as the drums and soaring guitars spring into life. It has a summery feel, which showcases Rain’s diversity; the flanger helping create a dreamy, epic soundscape.
‘Dream in Black and White’ follows in a similar fashion, but its beautiful chord changes help it stand out amongst the crashing drums. Everything is produced immaculately here. All the instruments collide to create a heavy grunge soundscape, while the vocals are buried in the mix, adding to the emotion of the track. What makes this EP special is the way each track flows together seamlessly. It makes Abstract Vision feel like a journey, enhancing the experience, and demonstrating how far Rain are pushing themselves creatively.
The title track, is a jangly affair; its infectious, fast rhythm is guaranteed to worm its way into your head. The drumming is extremely tight; giving the other instruments space to breathe, while the warm distorted riffs will leave you hungry for more.
Rain have widened their palette on Abstract Vision, showing further proof that they can write incredible melodies and win more fans. If you’re a fan of shoegaze with big swirling guitars, make sure you add Rain to your collection.
Abstract Vision is out now on Venn Records.
Words by Ermis Madikopoulos