Liquid i suffers from big hair (circa 1985) envy.
Liquid i suffers from big hair (circa 1985) envy.

Local Rotation

Liquid i

Waves of Rain

Emulsion Records

The band formerly known as Liquid, Liquid i, changed its handle in time for its second release, Waves of Rain. Unfortunately, however, its mainstream rock/ pop sound remains the same.

Most of Rain is solid, full of songs sturdy enough to sound at home on an alternative radio station. But like so many other bands that achieve such flaky success, Liquid i is neither original nor proficient enough at tried-and-true song formulas to make a real impact.

Rain gets off to an auspicious start with the beginning of the first track, "Waves of Rain," a tune with airy vocals from lead singer Paul Kilpatrick and a strong, repetitive rhythm guitar riff. The song loses steam only when the chorus kicks in. When Kilpatrick sings, "Waves and waves and waves of rain / Washing down the window pane / Waves and waves and waves of rain / Washing all the dirt away," any strength gained heretofore is lost. The banal lyrics and abated melody don't help, either.

One start-to-finish good song is "Dimensia," a little more industrial than the rest of Rain. Too bad sophomoric lyrics, again, mess up the vibe: "I can't wait to solve your problem," Kilpatrick sings, "I am here for you darling / Right now you need your mystery / So give it to me just one more time, oh." Oh?

Liquid i also indicates that it may be interested in following a disgusting trend in pop today: out-of-nowhere, unestablished pop bands covering '80s gems and releasing them as first singles. Bands such as Blue Orgy, which not too long ago released a cover of New Order's "Blue Monday," got on every pop station's rotation merely by standing on the shoulders of a far, far, far superior band. (Where's Blue Orgy now?) Same with Marilyn Manson, who put himself on the map by covering "Sweet Dreams" by the Eurythmics. At least he capitalized on his success.

Covering material is okay, so long as it's done honestly, not as some cheap way to get noticed. On Rain, Liquid i has reworked Soft Cell's "Tainted Love," which you might recognize from numerous Gap commercials. For the record, Liquid i's version is heavy and guitar-focused but pretty much of the jukebox variety, right down to the "whoa, oh, oh" background vocals.

The latest from Kilpatrick, guitarist Gary DeCet, bassist Kyle Watt and drummer/percussionist Manny Schwalenberg is very poppy and '80s-ish with a few nice surprises, but it's nothing to get excited about.


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