As if North Carolina wasn’t mentioned enough here, let me run it into the ground some more. This state has birthed some of our time’s most talented bands, and Rainbow Kitten Surprise is no exception. A sound inspired by Kings of Leon in it’s local ties to the region, and Modest Mouse in instrumentals and some power-hitting lyrical hooks, their sound can only be described as a little bit of everything. The College town of Boone is where the 5-piece band got there hold while in school. Sam Melo is the vocal and instrumental heart of this band, as well as the founding member. Mary, the first EP from 2013, was entirely performed and recorded in his Dorm room in college. Consisting solely of guitar, there was no lack of poetic introspectiveness in these first songs. Seven (of their first “album” Seven + Mary from the same year) was recorded after demand for more material mounted in his small circle in college. Darrick ‘Bozzy’ Keller jammed with him during the Mary album, and Jess Haney, Ethan Goodpaster, and Charlie Holt all sort of came together to put out the next EP. That marked the end for their Bandcamp years, where they found their footing like other groups we have discussed. Two years later, their first full length album RKS came out. Around the same time they began touring and saw many sold out venues on their first headline tour
Three years later and Rainbow Kitten Surprise is ready for their major label debut on Elektra records. In an interview ahead of their show in Denver, CO, the band described this album as a cohesive album that is more conceptual and easier to follow as one saga. Melo continues to hit hard with powerful lyrics and smooth one liners. The bass seems to take center stage in many of the songs such as “When It Lands” and “Mission to Mars”, where one’s body seemingly moves at will. “When It Lands” is an excellent song and sounds like rock, bluegrass, hip hop, pop, and dancehall music met and had a beautiful jam session. I cannot think of an example of a situation this song couldn’t fit. In all, the album does a great job of being the cohesive and flowing piece the band was looking for while still belting out those radio hits like “Fever Pitch” for the masses.
How else is one to start off a month of colored vinyl than a bright purple LP? It’s not flashy, but no other color could on its own symbolize the flavor and bright instrumentals of this album. Bifold covers are always a delightful addition to a collection, but without a second LP it feels empty. The large band photo is probably all I would want in there, and overall all I find missing is any lyrics. I find them to be nice to sing along to and for reference.
This record was purchased from Twist & Shout Records in Denver, and for a great price. Deals are hard to find at local shops, but that’s because the stores only make so much off every purchase. For this reason, It’s important for you to shop local and support these small stores that support you.