Blaine L. Reininger - Songs From The Rain Palace

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Blaine L. Reininger needs no special introduction. He is an American post-punk, new-wave and alternative pop singer, songwriter, musician, multi-instrumentalist (particularly violin), writer and performer. He is known for being a member of the group Tuxedomoon since 1977 after co-founding it with Steven Brown and, latterly, for a notable music and theatre career, both as a soloist and contributor to other artists' recordings, including The Durutti Column, Snakefinger, Anna Domino, Savage Republic or Paul Haig. After learning the violin and guitar during childhood and studying music theory in San Francisco, Reininger formed the band Tuxedomoon with composer, singer, musician and college-mate Steven Brown and appeared on early albums such as Half Mute, Desire and Suite En Sous-Sol before departing early in 1983 to pursue a solo career. He permanently rejoined Tuxedomoon in 1988 and has subsequently appeared on more recent recordings such as Vapour Trails, issued in 2007 by independent label Crammed Discs. Songs From The Rain Palace was released in 1990 by Les Disques Du Crepuscule in Belgium on CD and cassette. It features amongst other guests Tuxedomoon's Peter Principle. For this re-issue, the album was remastered by Martin Bowes and features 5 bonus tracks - two off compilations that came out at the time and three from Blaine's archive.

Its the second half of Rain palace that truly ignites the flames. The powerful Voice Of The Hive is a belter with its wall of hefty drums, bullying synths and robotic vocals while the closing Spaziergang provides a soundtrack to that stately Sunday wander around any European park of your choosing. Where this album really comes into its own is during the absorbing Europe After The Rains trilogy, a short semi-biographical travelogue encompassing coffee-fuelled Austrian backstreets, a touch of Harry Lime and rain-soaked Belgian lowlands. Reiningers melodic strength is as potent as the caffiene in his macchiato - one for the headphones and the senses.
(Flipside Reviews, November 2020)