You don’t really have to read this review. It’s enough to say this re-released version of “The Four Seasons” is jaw dropping. In fact, it isn’t enough. Music like this deserves a few more words than that. None of them bad.
The original version of this EP featured four tracks of melodic hardcore that eschewed the usual limitations and posturing of the genre in favour of adventurous song-writing. The concept of each track representing a season was executed beautifully. “Winter” felt dark, oppressive and brooding while “Autumn” was delicate, fragile and dripping with the kind of emotional desperation typical of bands like Converge. “Spring” sounded intimate and cautiously hopeful and “Summer” delivered its optimistic promise wrapped up in a frustratingly catchy riff. The original version of this EP was brilliant. That shouldn’t be forgotten.
But this re-release features acoustic re-imaginings of those four tracks and quite frankly, they’re pretty stunning.The guttural snarl of Gary Gordon is instead replaced with a beautifully sedate and rich melodic voice that positively drips with sincerity.
The subtle and dynamic instrumentation, running the gauntlet of sole acoustic guitars to menacing distorted bass and distant, thundering percussion, only serves to enhance the emotional atmosphere of the songs. It says a lot about Paul McInally at 45 A Side Recordings that he was able to produce a record of two such starkly different sonic identities and make each of them sound so beautifully textured and huge. It also says a lot about the musicianship of Rainfalls that they were able to write a release in the first place.
It’s incredibly difficult to make a call about which half of the record I prefer. My gut instinct is to lean towards the new acoustic versions, but there’s every chance that’s because they’re shiny and new. Either side of this release is a wonderful listen. But as the days grow darker, there’s something comforting about being reminded that the seasons wear us all down in our own way.
“The Four Seasons” re-release on Vinyl is available for pre-order now from the Rainfalls Bandcamp page.