Review: Rain Factory – ‘Stimulus Response’

Updated: Jul 11, 2019



Rising from the suburbs of Melbourne in 1990, Rain Factory have been making their own unique brand of rock for almost three decades now. Starting their careers with a local community gig, the band first launched themselves in a recording career with the release of ‘Home Street Home’, a rough-cut EP inspired by their collective experiences and influences. Since then, the band found ongoing success with their debut full length album, putting themselves firmly on the Australian music map with, the stylistically diverse and hyperactive sounds of ‘Circus’ in 1993.


A release that earned them critical and commercial acclaim, ‘Circus’ brought in a wave of positive press from the likes of Juke, In Press, and Rolling Stone, even prompting one reviewer to describe that band’s sound as "a hybrid noise which could best be described as U2 meets Hunters & Collectors with Midnight Oil spunk”. Several years and another album later and the band decided to take an indefinite break from the independent music scene, focusing instead of new endeavours, both creative and commercial.


Fast forward to 2011 and the original members of the band found themselves with a renewed passion and began to start work on their long-awaited third album. It wasn’t until June of this year that ‘Stimulus Response’ surfaced, a brand-new album of epic soundscapes, experimental styles, and complex arrangements that were six years in the making.


A collection of ten original cuts, ‘Stimulus Response’ is sharp as a knife, never missing a beat and constantly bringing the rough-cut sounds of 90’s rock back into the spotlight. A gripping resurgence of timeless rock sounds, the album conjures up a heavy dose of nostalgia that twists and turns, taking the band’s familiar sounds and dragging them kicking and screaming into a new era. Every song on the album is solid and purpose built, from the opening bars of ‘Rebooted’ until the very last note of album closer ‘Ride’, creating a monumental sound that never fails to impress.


Melodies hit and switch, the vocals cut through the heavier rock moments with grit and clarity, puncturing each polished song with an element of DIY soul, and as the drums push forward and the bass lets fly, you can practically feel that newfound passion and energy bleeding through your speakers. For a band to come back after so many years without skipping a beat is impressive, to bring back that chemistry and just be able to perform, but to do it all and release what is potentially one of their best albums, that’s something else entirely.


Available now on Spotify and through Rain Factory’s official Bandcamp page, ‘Stimulus Response’ is a work of art in its own right, shining with a modern energy and 90’s spirit that transports you back to the golden age of rock. Sticking with the experimental leanings of the past and fusing it with sweeping contemporary arrangements, it’s a perfect case of old dogs learning new tricks and doing them well.


Score: 8.5/10


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