An Epic At Best – There Will Be Rain

An Epic At Best
There Will Be Rain

Sometimes you encounter an album that sounds pretty good, has elements of what you like about other albums, and maybe even has some good ideas, but for whatever reason you just don’t connect with. There Will Be Rain, the debut from Georgia’s An Epic At Best, has some decent songs and a decent sound, but in the end it’s hard to remember much about it. The problem isn’t with the playing, or the compositions, or the conviction with which the band plays its stuff. The problem has more to do with context. It’s hard to find much that differentiates the band from the many other bands doing the same thing.

The guitar work is at times more varied than what you get with typical emo. The use of the delay pedal (as on “Carolina” and “Weight of Words”) and the repetitive note-picking sounds a little more like The Church than it does The Promise Ring. And the use of keyboards lends an interesting touch to some of the tracks. There’s also some cool drum work going on; it’s clear that James McGaw has some good ideas as he attempts to keep the sound interesting. Here and there the bass playing breaks from its anchoring role and gets a little busy, but it’s all in keeping with the tunes.

“Cold Weather Romance” typifies the slower side of the band’s approach. It’s a keyboard and gently-picked guitar meditation that can be affecting. However, when the vocals get kind of histrionic and, at the end when the loud guitars come into play, it’s just another of what we’ve heard before.

Songs like “The Color of My Lungs” and “Doethe Hands” combine the rock of a (subdued) Sunny Day Real Estate with the plaintive confessions of, maybe, Bright Eyes. If this album had come out 10 or so years ago, it might have made a bit more of an impression than it does today. But with an oversaturated market of this kind of stuff, it’s hard to make much of a name for yourself without breaking some rules to distinguish yourself. An Epic At Best plays it pretty safe in this regard.