Raindance are without a doubt heading in their own direction. The same could probably have been said about their former band, Outrage, but it’s even more true now. In fact, their willingness to step outside the box of the current trends in hardcore might just be the most intriguing element of their music.
After a handful of EPs and singles, Raindance present their lengthiest offering to date in New Blood. But beyond simply being longer, New Blood also sees Raindance solidifying their sound in the most cohesive way yet, while still pushing the envelope considerably. From the first riffs of opener “Bottle Throated Kings” that gradually build to what becomes an all-out assault, it’s clear this EP will be anything but typical. Even the initial taste of vocals sound more akin to something you’d hear on an Every Time I Die record than anything you’d describe as “hardcore.”
In fact, throughout New Blood, Raindance toy ever-so-gently with bits of metalcore, yet somehow do so without betraying their hardcore foundation. Vocal comparisons to Every Time I Die seem almost too obvious to mention, yet are tastefully done, and the electronic interludes that pop up occasionally can’t help but remind of Scarlet’s similar dabblings. All the while, just when you start to feel like you may have been duped into listening to a lost Trustkill or Ferret release from the early 2000s, Raindance throw another curveball that confirms yet again they’re just testing the boundaries.
Arguably, the best songwriting exhibited on this EP is the groove-laden fourth track, “To Hell With Them,” starting with an opening riff not unlike the jams being created by Give, settling into a thickness reminiscent of the best ’90s heavy hitters, and ultimately concluding with more of the electronic experimentation. The song is immediately followed by what might be the low point of the EP, “Bloodlust,” rich with the unapologetic chug that normally would be right up my alley, but unfortunately the least effective amalgamation of all the Raindance elements. Fortunately, they pick things back up with closer “Heaven Knows No Hollow Road,” pummeling through most of the song that finally reaches one last short, concluding burst of energy.
Few bands these days are taking the kind of chances Raindance are seemingly unafraid to attempt… and that’s very refreshing. While they don’t succeed on every try, Raindance are creating some great music when they do, and even their weakest contributions offer interesting twists. This unabashed experimentation makes all of their releases, especially New Blood, well worth checking out.