Photo credit: No Rain Checks Facebook page
If you’ve ever been at the store, and you found out an item was out of stock and you heard the phrase “Let’s take a rain check” then you’d probably be really disappointed to find out that there are “No Rain Checks”. However, in the heart of Schuylkill County, lies Pottsville, and in Pottsville, we find that there are, indeed, “No Rain Checks”, except, this time, it’s a GOOD thing that there are none, because you are not going to want to miss out on this up-and-coming band. The band, ‘No Rain Checks’ is a hard rock band comprised of Max Bolton, pulling vocal and guitar duties, Austin Blackman on bass and vocals, and Josh Bishop on drums.
The EP opens with the track, “Falling”, which right off the bat gives off a heavy Sex Pistols vibe. For those who are unfamiliar with Sex Pistols, they were a British punk band who dominated the scene in the early to mid 1970’s. No Rain Checks doesn’t make any indication of Sex Pistols being an influence, but you can definitely hear it shining through in this track, from the instrumentation all the way to the distorted vocals. Falling, overall, is a great track, and has so much potential to it, I would honestly like to see a music video for it, as I think the storyline would be great. 9/10
Track 2 gives us the track, “Gaza”, which opens with a piercing and catchy guitar riff.The first time I heard Gaza was on 97.9x’s Local’s Only hour one Sunday night during the summer. I was surprised, I had never heard anything quite like it, as I mentioned above, you can feel a very Sex Pistols-esque vibe off of these guys, but Gaza mixes in some elements of Metallica, Iron Maiden, and an 80’s hair metal vibe with it, which in itself is extremely unique for a hard rock band. However, the thing that drew me back from the song was the change from heavy, distorted riffs and instrumentals, to high, almost choir-like singing in the chorus. This would be fine, if the vocal switch wasn’t so drastic and noticeable throughout the song. There isn’t a lot of vocal consistency throughout the song, which to me was a downside. Aside from this, the song is great lyrically and instrumentally, and has a lot of potential tied to it was well. 7/10
Track 3 comes in with a light bass riff, and from the beginning is a whirlwind. “Clash of Titans”, as it is titled, is a no-holds-barred, straight up in your face punk rock song. While listening to the EP, I found that this track quickly became my favorite, once again, because of the destinctive mix of Iron Maiden and Sex Pistols shining through from the getgo. There are no words to describe Clash of Titans, because this track, from start to finish, vocals to instrumentals, has got to be my personal favorite, best track on the EP. 10/10
Track 4 is titled “The Shaman” and gives off very trippy, futuristic vibes, along with a pleasing bass riff in the beginning. This song was different for me, solely because for the first time during this entire EP, I heard some Iron Maiden/Sex Pistols vibes, but this one gave me a more 80’s pop vibe at first, that quickly shifted right back to the Maiden/Pistols crossover sound that is heard all throughout. This was great for me, because I grew up on this type of music, however, the song is somewhat out of place compared to the rest of the EP. This is not necessarily a bad thing, though, because it definitely shows diversity and the bands ability to span over multiple genres. The solo piece is breathtaking, while listening to it in a dimly lit room, I imagined the song being in a movie, it has the potential to be in a horror movie, just because of the creepy, distorted vocals and piercing riffs. Overall, this song is a whirlwind from start to finish, and all seven minutes keep you interested and give you the ability to picture it playing in a cliche 80’s horror film. 9/10
Track 5 gives us “Final Destination”, the convenient final track on the EP. Sticking with the punk rock vibes, this track features piercing riffs, and punching solos, taking no prisoners on the way. Final Destination is a good end to this EP, as it sticks with the sound that is prominent in the rest of the tracks, while also mellowing out towards to end, as if almost giving the EP a peaceful sendoff. Overall, a decent track, and great choice for the final track altogether. 8/10
After listening to this EP in it’s entirety, it’s safe to say that “No Rain Checks” is definitely on the right path to possibly getting their music in a movie, or reviving the punk rock music scene. I feel that, with some work to fix the drastic shifts between genres, instrumentals, and vocals, No Rain Checks has the potential to be big, and put Schuylkill County on the map.
Album reviewed by Alonna Weaver
All rights to anything written or composed by 5-7-0 Press reserved
Album: For Rock N Roll
Artist: No Rain Checks
Release Date: November 1, 2019