Stars Of Heaven - Rain On The Sea
Yet, when I was writing reviews and checking out facts about bands many years later, I found that this album was completely anonymous. Now I expected some of the albums I own, such as friends albums, obscure canto-pop singers and freebie giveaways, to be unlikely to have a web profile. I never expected to find Rain On The Sea to fall into the same category. Now that is something seriously overlooked for this is an album which is well worth getting, though I am not sure if you can find it any longer.
Quite why, I do not know. The music marks a cross between jangly Celtic rock and post punk. The songs are often social commentary, dealing with themes which are unusual and yet convey the messages of loneliness, frustration and despair. It is almost as if only the Irish can produce music like this. The nearest thing I can compare it to is Whipping Boy's classic (and also largely overlooked album) Heartworm. But whereas the latter were a product of the post-Shoegaze age, with a hard edge and distinctly heavier sound, the Stars of Heaven were firmly rooted in the end of the eighties. The style is different, lighter, more relaxed, and the way the lyrics are framed is also different, less about personal depression and more about societal alienation.
Take "Widow's Walk" for instance. This is the album's stand out track. Musically it is a beautiful song, and just when you are getting complacent, the drums go off beat in the middle to shake you out of your growing familiarity. The lyrics are sublime, a young man who has applied for a visa to emigrate to the States falls in love, just at the moment when his visa comes through. A new take on the "don't wish for something - it might just come true" theme. Yet this song is not the only one. "Before Holyhead" covers something of the same ground, emigration from Ireland and travel to the UK while "Sacred Heart Hotel" is another classic piece of social commentary about the lives of people and the influence of religion in Ireland. All in all, the album is a fine collection of quite wonderful examples of Irish jangle pop.
So, yet another overlooked album. I have tagged bands such as the Chameleons, Fischer-Z, Modern Eon, the Sound and others with that label, now I tag Rain On The Sea with the same. I don't know if this is still available, and if it is it is unlikely to be on CD. It never shows up on Limewire and I have checked scores of torrents and never found any hint of its existence. It is as if the band disappeared off the face of the earth, or never existed. But if you can find it then check it out. You won't be disappointed.
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on 2011-05-06 CharlesMartel Said:
The debut album from the band. They never got the acclaim they deserved, in my opinion.