Rain Or Shine - The Darkest Part of Me

Rain Or Shine The Darkest Part of Me cover
Rain Or Shine
The Darkest Part of Me
Perris Records
2019
6.5
Rain Or Shine is a Greek duo that indulges in melodic rock. They did debut last year with an album that completely flew under the radar and now release their sophomore effort on Perris Records. Their write up tries to sell them as an 80 feel good band, but, this is not quite true.
 
With a far meatier and phatter sound and a pristine production, they sound far more 90s to early 00s melodic rock. Think last decade Bon Jovi and a “sadder” version of it, post reunion Europe, without the classic rock element, “IV” or solo Winger, Nickelback and such… I can give it that for a duo it’s actually pretty impressive and well produced, but I do take some issues with certain aspects of it.
 
“The Darkest Part of Me” feels like a prog band stuck a few melodic parts on a song or vice versa.
 
“Top of the World” whereas it should sound elating, sounds a bit too contained, with an anaemic guitar tone and performances which without having a fault, sound like they had all life sucked out of them. A song that say, an old school band could make sound “dangerous” is now perfectly “ironed out”. It’s rock, just not very… hard…
 
“New Love” has the same issues, trying to cram too much into a song and a riff that doesn’t quite work out. There’s some female vocals in a verse and whoever did those, should have done the entire album… since she obviously sounds far more motivated in her performance that the main guy behind this project Steve SR, who’s the guy behind everything but the drums, which are handled by one Andy McCormic.
 
Where Are You Now” is actually a mellower song with a bit of a 90s hard rock edge – actually one I didn’t have any qualms with. Smooth.
 
“Around the Corner” had me having Uriah Heep flashbacks, an acoustic rocker with pop-folk elements. Nicely done, not hugely original sounding, but… cool, nonetheless.
 
“Shot of Life” begins with some almost KISS riffing and build only to wimp out… I also figured out, what I don’t like about Steve’s vocals. They’re not bad, in any way shape or form; he barely has an accent – if at all, he’s tuneful, he has a pleasant enough timbre, although not one you’d consider unique, but he lacks conviction. He’s timid and doesn’t have the presence, he doesn’t make you feel like he really “feels” what he’s singing. It’s a small difference, but one that keep the songs from unfurling their full potential.
 
“We All Back Down” is another decent tune, with the vocals sounding slightly more motivated, but also becoming a bit more whiny/nasal.
 
“Back on Track” is a rich sounding ballad that actually has quite a few nice ideas.
 
“Into the Storm” is a driving rocker that could be a bit better if the band didn’t overcomplicate things a bit.
 
“We Only Live Once” is the closer and another poppy half ballad, half laid back soulful blues tinged rocker- that ain’t half as bad, but would have benefited a bit by being more direct.
 
The talent is definitely there, but it might be a better idea to actually turn this project into a full band and find someone who’s a great singer. Steve’s good, but not great. Also editing the ideas a bit and working with simpler verses that don’t pussyfoot about trying to build tension and then going for more pronounced choruses to offer a release and for more passionate performances that don’t sound too doctored in the studio, could turn ROS’ material from good to phenomenal. Worth keeping an eye on.