Good Old War – Come Back As Rain
The trio of Good Old War expanded their repertoire of harmony-driven folk tunes in 2010 with their Self-Titled album using their debut Only Way to Be Alone as a reference point. As a fan, I gladly embraced the change with no if, ands, buts or laments. After all, it wasnâ€™t so much a departure as it was an addendum. It reflected the more rugged environment (a cabin in the Pocono Mountains) the songs were written in much the way their debut was a mixture of collaborations and scraps from past musical endeavors.
In that way, the band follows suit for their latest album Come Back as Rain. Musically, the core sound hasnâ€™t changed but rather the big delineation from previous recordings comes in the form of time. The band spent a few weeks in pre-production, something they hadnâ€™t had the luxury of in the past smoothing out the edges and polishing this batch of songs. If expansion was the underlying theme of the Self-Titled, refining would be this albumâ€™s theme.
The additional percussions on album opener â€˜Over and Over,â€™ guitar work on the single â€˜Calling Me Namesâ€™ or vocals on stand-out ballad â€˜Amazing Eyesâ€™ have an extra crispness that displays the band further honing their craft. The band showcases its famous 3-part harmonies on the upbeat â€˜Better Weatherâ€™ and crooner â€˜Not Quite Happinessâ€™ which continue to be their bread-and-butter.
Like most things in life, Good Old Warâ€™s music was served best with a little extra care. Fans disappointed with the more ragged leanings of their Self-Titled will be more than won back with these 11 new tunes. The band is in a difficult position with their sound in that whether itâ€™s the rollicking â€˜After the Partyâ€™ or the stripped-back â€˜Loud Love,â€™ their folk-rock confines only stretch so far. Music fans merely looking for scorching solos or math rock noodlings wonâ€™t be won over with Come Back as Rain. More open minded enthusiasts however wonâ€™t be able to find anyone better in the genre than these three chaps form Philadelphia.— Matt Zimmerman, 03/14/2012