Rainer Maria - Ears Ring (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Rainer Maria

Ears Ring (2002)


"Rainer Maria is past their prime." "Rainer Maria isn't hip anymore." "Rainer Maria hasn't written any good songs since 'Look Now Look Again'." "Rainer Maria should just break up."

To people who say phrases like or similar to those, the new EP from Rainer Maria is a big middle finger to every last one of you.

The three songs contained on this EP are like a band lashing out at their stereotype - the friendly, romantic boy/girl emo sound. To those who have followed the band, we know that guitarist Kyle and bassist/singer Caithlin dated for quite some time, breaking up before the recording of the band's last album, the disappointing "A Better Version Of Me." The band seemed stuck in a rut - did they keep writing the same love songs they had been writing, when there was no love in the band anymore? Their sound suffered, as the lyrics turned slightly darker, but the music stayed as peppy as ever.

For this EP, the band has definitely gotten their shit straightened out. Opening track "Ears Ring," with it's pounding guitar/bass interplay and the screaming chorus of "You already love her" coupled with a sick breakdown rocks you like a hurricane, letting you know that this band has got something to say.

"Alchemy" is at the same breakneck speed [for this band, anyway] but sounds even more frantic and sinister, with the repeating vocals of "They made you from silver / but you were worth gold." I've never heard the band this angry before, but I definitely like it.

So after 2 skull-pounding, heart-stabbing tracks in a row, what does the band finish up the EP with? If you guessed "a throwback to their old, poppier" style, you'd be right on the money. "Automatic" sounds like vintage Rainer Maria, making me believe that the band has gotten their game face on for their new album coming out next year. The traded off female/male ooo's and ah's, plus Kyle's interjections of "YougotitYougotitYougotitYougotit!" really seal the deal on this melodic gem.

So the question is, since "Ears Ring" will be on the upcoming LP, is this worth buying for the other two tracks? I can only give a resounding yes to that question. Doubters beware - Rainer Maria is back, and is back with a vengance. This might be the best EP that I've gotten this year.

Ears Ring

Ears Ring