Rainbow Kitten Surprise (which has arguably one of the best band names ever) has finally released an album after three years.
How to: Friend, Love, Freefall is one of the most polarizing albums I’ve heard in years. Each song is either really good or pretty awful, with almost no in between.
The album kicks off well with “Pacific Love.” I’ve reviewed a lot of albums for KSDB, but never have I heard an album start off acapella with a three-part harmony. It was beautifully done, and instantly drew me in.
The second song, “Mission to Mars”, was more upbeat than I was expecting. What I’ve heard from Rainbow Kitten Surprise sounds Bon Iver or Fleet Foxes-esque, and this song had more techno elements that I would expect from a band like Two Door Cinema Club. It was a good song, it just didn’t really fit with the previous song.
This confusion is continued with “Fever Pitch”. It starts off somewhat bluesy and slowly gains momentum, then the vocalist starts rapping out of nowhere. It was very disjointing.
“It’s Called: Freefall” is more in line with the regular RKS. It was very vocally complex, and the end gives a solo to the instrumentals, which were kind of 70s psychedellic.
“Holy War” is a very slow and methodical piece that really hilights the piano. Because of that, it’s easy to overlook the lyrics, which is a commentary about destroying everything in the name of revolution. “Kaboom / Blowout / Everything must go / Everything must go / Make way for the Kingdom come / Blowout / Everything must go / Everything must go / Make way for the revolution.” Halfway through the song they used reverb or something to distort the instrumentals and transition to the end of the song. It was a very short moment, but it sounded really interesting.
The next few songs were decent, but nothing to talk about. The drums in “Hide” make it sound very tropical and summery. “And he’s a better kisser than you’d think, Mom / He’s a better listener than most / We took pretty pictures by the sea, Mom / Fell in love and sailed off.”
“When it Ends” sounds like a combination of what they were trying to do at the beginning of the album, but executed a lot better. The transitions flow a lot better, so the changes in genre don’t seemed forced. I wouldn’t be surprised if it became the most popular song from the album.
“Rectify” and “Possum Queen” are both very beat-heavy, and the vocals are all over the place. There isn’t anything redeemable about these songs, and I never want to hear them again. It’s rare when I absolutely hate a song, but that’s the case here.
The album ends with “Polite Company”, which is simplistic and easy to listen to. It’s not the best ending, but it’s better than the previous songs.
I appreciate RKS for wanting to explore and blend genres, but it definitely needs some polishing.
By: Monica Brich