Rainer Maria - Long Knives Drawn (Cover Artwork)

Rainer Maria

Rainer Maria: Long Knives DrawnLong Knives Drawn (2003)
Polyvinyl Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: maverickScott
(others by this writer | submit your own)

"Oh, you're wicked / You look so wicked!" With this declaration of independence in the album's opening track, "Mystery and Misery," Rainer Maria has been reborn. No more meandering songs about the contents of Lincoln's pockets. No more fake love songs. "Long Knives Drawn" is 9 songs and 35 and.
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"Oh, you're wicked / You look so wicked!"

With this declaration of independence in the album's opening track, "Mystery and Misery," Rainer Maria has been reborn. No more meandering songs about the contents of Lincoln's pockets. No more fake love songs. "Long Knives Drawn" is 9 songs and 35 and a half minutes of some of the most brutally honest and intensely emotional music you will hear in 2003.

The previously mentioned opener, "Mystery and Misery" continues the band's tradition of having absolutely killer opening tracks. Coming up second is "Long Knives," quite possibly the most sinister song the band's ever written musically. The guitar/bass interplay coupled with singer Caithlin's newly powerful vocals sends shivers up my spine. "Let's get over each other / so that we can fall in love again / Won't you hold me?" Does it get much more raw than that? Doubtful.

"Ears Ring" follows, keeping the intensity of the album at a maximum. I've loved this song since it's prior release on the "Ears Ring" EP, and it still shreds. Guitarist Kyle sounds like he's beating his guitar into a bloody pulp on this song, taking out the same aggressions that Caithlin is releasing via her impassioned vocals.

"The Double Life" gives the album a slight break, being a bit slower than it's predecessors, and a bit more mellow as well, at least during the verses. I still find myself hanging on every word Caithlin utters, wanting to know how these four minute glimpses into her life turn out. A happy ending never seems to be in the cards, with lines like "I wasn't paying attention / and you quietly reeled me in again / it's just business as usual."

The album continues with "The Awful Truth Of Loving," a relapse into the band's more sweetly melodic sound contained on their "Look Now, Look Again" LP. Even though it sounds familiar, Caithlin's vocals make the song into what it is - her voice has matured greatly since 2001's "A Better Version Of Me."

Continuing at a medium pace is "The Imperatives," powered by drummer Bill's propulsive drumming and a mixture of Kyle and Caithlin's dissonant guitar and bass parts. The listener gets awashed with sound through the choruses, as Caithlin screams "Let's get out!" repeatedly.

The album reaches it's 2/3rds point with "Floors," another sinister-sounding song that builds up sonically until the chorus when the band really opens up instrumentally and vocally. The bass sounds as heavy as ever, and it grooves impeccably.

"CT Catholic" and "Situation: Relation" tie up the album's loose ends with an equal mixture of loud and soft. The former finally lets Kyle sing along with Caithlin, putting a unique perspective on the vocals. It's one of the poppier and happier songs on the album, and it's a fine reprieve from the pain of the other tracks. "Situation: Relation" brings the album to a close with a simple guitar and voice ballad, allowing memories of the opening track of "Look Now Look Again" to flood my memories. Caithlin's voice finally seems tired from belting out the previous eight tracks, and as her strong alto tamber begins to waver and fade, the album ends. A stunning closer to an absolutely fantastic album.

Oh yeah, the artwork is really, really gorgeous, too. It conveys the desparation contained within the CD accurately. All I could ask for are lyrics, but I'm not registering any complaints over here.

The Rainer Maria you once knew is dead. In it's place are a trio of musicians who have rediscovered themselves through this collection of songs. I can say with assurance that this will be in my Top 10 of 2003 list - this is the first notable release of 2003 for me, and is worth as much praise as I can muster for it.

Ears Ring
The Double Life

Stream the entire album here


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (January 24, 2003)

twat rules. (both kinds)


Anonymous (January 23, 2003)

it's not that hard to sing on key. somebody should hire rainer maria a vocal coach.

on a totally unrelated note, i hope polyvinyl burns to the ground.

waste_elite (January 23, 2003)


plowro (January 23, 2003)

I've only heard 'ears ring' and it was instantly stuck in my head. Very good review....I'm sold.

Anonymous (January 23, 2003)

Fuck it didn‚??t print my whole comment. Here ya go.
Let's get over each other / so that we can fall in love again / won‚??t you hold me? Does it get much more raw than that? Doubtful."
Sure it does. How about,‚?Ě It‚??s like that and it's like this. I took her to the pad and we started to kiss. My dicks all hard so you know what I'm thinkin, took her panties off and her pussy was stinkin." I'd say that's pretty fucking raw. Fuck that love shit. Love is for fat kids sitting in math class. Jesus Christ the only reason you‚??re into heartbreak is because it gives you and excuse to feel sorry for yourself. Do you say I love you to a girl after 2 weeks of hand holding? You remind me of one of those little chubby girls that makes a ‚??wedding‚?Ě book in the 4th fucking grade. If you want to call it, ‚??melancholy‚?Ě fine, but everyone else calls it depression. Is there a cure you ask? Well fuck yea there is! It‚??s called the ‚??Hemmingway.‚?Ě Or you can just call it the ‚??Kobain.‚?Ě Cheers. twat

Anonymous (January 23, 2003)

Shit, I forgot to trash the shitty band. This is what the band "Heart" would sound like if they all got really sloppy drunk and everybody switched instruments for a half hour. twat

Anonymous (January 23, 2003)

no a-holes

Anonymous (January 23, 2003)

Pure rubbish-oldpunker-

Anonymous (January 23, 2003)

Whatever floats yer but.....but I am so tired of all these bands having the same generic artwork, with some "cool" cursive writing. Get a clue dorks.


Steve_Bennett (January 22, 2003)

maybe it was the sound quality on the website. the ears ring mp3 isnt as bad quite possibly tolerable in small doses.

Steve_Bennett (January 22, 2003)

i listened to a couple songs on the website...i think my ears are bleeding

Anonymous (January 22, 2003)

Yikes, listen to this and Cursive's Domestica one after the other...sure makes you think about relationships.

aaronetc (January 21, 2003)

I'm really looking forward to this record but I decided to buy it when I see them live on Feb. 6. This review isn't helping me any. Two and a half weeks! Argh!

travis (January 21, 2003)

hahaha. it was a wonderful review scott. and i see what youre saying. it has been growing on me, ill give you that. when i first listened to the EP, i hated it. but the full length has been growing on me.

im going to write a review for the fire theft (sunny day real estate) show tonight once i get back from said show.

maverick (January 21, 2003)

Travis, you're cruising for a bruising.

Watch your back.


travis (January 21, 2003)

eh, i dont like this release as much as the others. id give it a 6

Anonymous (January 21, 2003)

I love how you can instantly look at every update of reviews and know what Scott's done. That's in no way a bad thing, I usually like the records.

BostonMusicGuy (January 21, 2003)

They are ok. A bit soft for my likings but ok anyway.-BostonMusicGuy

Anonymous (January 21, 2003)

great review. great cd.

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