There’s a good reason why, for many years, French rockers BlackRain ended most of their concerts by covering the AC/DC anthem “It’s a Long Way To The Top (if You Wanna Rock’n’Roll)”…
For, having formed in 2006 in the French Alps and with four self-produced albums under their belts, countless concerts in France, Europe and even Japan, these four musicians know for a fact this forthcoming year is undoubtedly the most important part of their career to date. Free from previous past commitments, now they feel like ready to escape to some new territories and have almost logically entitled this new album “Released”.
In the fast-changing but predictable musical industry today it’s rare indeed that a big US producer decides to work with a bunch of “Frenchies” and that a “big label” such as UDR Music signs a French rock act…
To be able to reach this point BlackRain, then featuring three original members Swan, Math and Max 2, worked unbelievably hard, taking any and every opportunity they could find, deciding to relocate to Paris where they were able to dedicate themselves full time to music. During nearly 10 long years spent learning the tortuous ways of Rock ‘n’ Roll, the band met a lot of good people – Frank, their so precious drummer; great bands like Europe, Papa Roach, Alice Cooper, Scorpions, Steel Panther, Kissin’ Dynamite and Crash Diet with whom they played; the team of a “New Talent” national TV show where they delivered memorable live performances to an audience of several million; Famous photographer Dean Karr responsible of the new band pictures; and last but not least American producer Jack Douglas, known for his work with Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, Alice Cooper, The New York Dolls and even John Lennon… a true music “legend” who provided all of his good old fashioned experience to the making of their 2013’s effort “It Begins” as well as on this brand new album : “Released”.
Recorded between the suburb of Paris and Los Angeles, California during the early part of 2015, this new Long Play is the result of many months of collaboration between BlackRain and Jack who, prior to recording, spent a lot of his time listening and analyzing tons of demos in order to select the best songs and create for each of them the best arrangement … He really applied his magic touch to the whole process. And to complete the circle it’s Warren Huart, Aerosmith’s sound engineer who, along with Jack, mixed these new BlackRain songs at the Spitfire Studio in Laurel Canyon.
With straight ahead, catchy rockers like “Back in Town” (the first single and lyric video), “Eat You Alive”, “Puppet on a String”, the sharp edged “Mind Control” or the more poppy “Electric Blue” BlackRain reminds us that this gang has grown up with the sounds of WASP, Guns N ‘ Roses, Skid Row, Ratt and Mötley Crüe. Other tracks suggest different influences, equally interesting: “Run Tiger Run”, a mesmerizing groover, “Killing Me”, “Fate to Black” some powerful mid-tempos, “Words Ain’t Enough” and its acoustic flavors or, in a more punky style, “Rock My Funeral” with its anthemic chorus and hook. It’s clear that with these songs, all written by the main composer Swan, you have the kind of artist who’s not just satisfied with living with the influences of the present or the past. The band doesn’t forget to take also everybody by surprise by covering on his own “For Your Love” a classic originally written by The Yardbirds. Through his different approach and choirs, “One Last Prayer”, the last track, proves beyond doubt that BlackRain can never be labeled as “followers”.