Siren Records



Format: CD
Label: POVL
Catalog: 57
Rel. Date: 01/21/2003
UPC: 644110005724

Long Knives Drawn
Artist: Rainer Maria
Format: CD

Formats and Editions


There's a certain unflinching, willful stubbornness that extends acrossthe whole of the indie pop community. On one extreme, you've got groupslike Low—a trio that pushes hard to experiment and reinvents itself oneach successive record. On the either extreme, there are a ton of groups likeIda—a quartet that makes music that's very pretty, but very allergicto changing trends. Madison, Wisconsin trio Rainer Maria falls somewhere closerto the latter end of the spectrum: guitarist Kyle Fischer, drummer William Kuehnand vocalist Caithlin De Marrais take a distinctive approach to making indistinctmusic. The group's fourth full-length Long Knives Drawn is basicallya better version of 2001's A Better Version of Me—though ifit weren't for De Marrais' increasingly assured vocals, whole portionsof the record might be interchangeable with past releases.

"I wasn't paying attention/ and you quietly reeled me in again"De Marrais coos on "The Double Life," and that ought to serve as awarning to the uninitiated: there's a handful of truly gorgeous songs tucked(this, "Ears Ring" and "CT Catholic") into the folds ofthe record. Rainer Maria's new identity as a rock combo needs a bit offine tuning, though: the trio occasionally falls prey to crass overstatement(the opening strains of "Mystery and Misery" practically pummel thelistener into submission), something that undercuts and cheapens its otherwisemodest recordings. Still, if you can listen to just one volatile chronicle ofbroken hearts and bad dreams by a group named after a morbidly romantic turnof the century poet, by all means make it this one.
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