March 29, 2001

TEST SPIN: Rainer Maria

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On their third full-length, indie rockers Rainer Maria manage to shed the banal loud-soft constructions of their past in favor of more complex dynamics and good songwriting. Caithlin De Marrais’ howling, emotional vocals and potent lyrics provide a fitting counterpoint to the frenzied music, especially on the extended climax of “The Seven Sisters.”

On other tracks, such as “Ceremony,” the band shows off their new, more subdued sound. “Save My Skin” is a slow-burner of a power-pop track, and “Atropine” is more slow, sensitive rock. Although certainly not the most innovative disc you’ll hear this year, Rainer Maria have demonstrated that they have pop chops in spades, and with A Better Version Of Me, they’ve crafted a lovely but biting soundtrack to your next heartbreak.

Archived article by Ed Howard