Rain To Rust: Flowers Of Doubt – TUR – DL – 
- Flowers Of Doubt
- Drinking The Ghosts
- No Longer Human
- Time And Time Again
- Burnt To Light
- A Farewell With Regret
- My Demons Drive
- For When It Hurts
Last week I got a contact form email sent from the band Rain To Rust… and maybe I would like to review the album? The offer of a promo DL was made and I found myself with a minute to sample the wares on the artist’s Bandcamp page. The timing of such events is critical. I rarely have the necessary moments in my life to pursue such threads. But this time I had about 20 minutes all to my own, so I sampled the first track, “Flowers Of Doubt” on the page and after 30 seconds, I stopped the playback. This would be a purchase to make. The sound was too enjoyable not to pay for it! Since the artist was asking only a modest €4.00 for the privilege, I bumped up the payment by 50% as I often choose to do. I’m not wealthy but I try my best.
Rain To Rust were a Turkish “band” who were a “Todd Rundgren goes Post-Punk” effort that largely came down to one man; Mert Yıldız. He had ties to the Eastern European industrial/doom metal/darkwave scene stretching back two decades, so he had a lot of varied experience under his belt before making this album, and wow, did it ever show! He wrote, recorded, engineered, produced, designed, etc. almost the totality of the end product, save for a scant few guest artists.
Mr. Yıldız has gone on to cite such influences as Adrian Borland, Ian Curtis, Mark Smith, and Andrew Eldrich in his press release, and of those four, perhaps Borland is the strand of his artistic DNA that I can most readily grasp upon listening. Maybe early Bølshøi as well. I’m here to let you know that while those performers might have a pull on the songwriting process, the thing that pops out of the speakers for my ears, is that in the guitar playing I can most definitely hear the influence of the great John McGeoch for the guitar tone with Yıldız favoring the flanged sound of Post-Punk that the great Scot brought to the table. The bass playing sounded as if the tone of Simon Gallup of The Cure had been formative to the playing of Yıldız. Those were two great stylistic influences used well. Guitars predominated here, with only occasional synth used for coloration with a light touch.
The title track had a faster pace of urgency than most of the songs here and was a strong start to the eight-song program. Yes, this material had a real Statik Records 1982 vibe to it! The crepuscular sound was well served by the darkly understated delivery of Yıldız, who sang without any heavy handed theatrical affectations. This straightforward presentation served the songs very well. The music could be said to straddle the line of demarcation between Post-Punk and the earliest flowerings of Goth, before it became a stylistic straitjacket.
The second track, “Drinking The Ghosts” painted a portrait of alcoholism within a dubbed out guitar intro over the throbbing bass lines that recalled early Cure before pushing forward once the drums kicked in and the song dove into the abyss of addiction with a paradoxical energy. That same juxtaposition between the energy of the music and the darkness of the lyric was also in the next song. “No Longer Human” dealt with a protagonist who was on a downhill path of angst feeding into a brutal cycle of self medication and self-harm that resulted in rejection of his humanity. The lyrics here were undeniably heavy, but the seductive qualities of the music and its beauty invited the listener to ponder the scenarios of these songs as something more abstract than visceral.
The album reached its dark heart with “Burnt To Light” which took the tempos to their sepulchral slowest as the tar pit of a bass line pulled the listener down into the velvety dark morass of the song. In other words, this one moved beyond Cure influences to strike closer to the Siouxsie + The Banshees target. The harmonics of peril that the song’s abstract middle eight offered were the one instance of gilding the lily here, and I’ll certainly grant it that license.
The one song here that made the strongest inroads to the club floor was “A Farewell With Regret” that had a touch of dance-oriented drum programming as well as the most prominent synth lines to be found on the album. The middle eight allowed Mr. Yıldız to take a tasty solo on both his guitar and a synth this time. I can’t help but wonder if this song was the outlier to where Rain To Rust will be heading next on their path? Sample the album below.
Following the penultimate “My Demons Drive,” the album ended on a redemptive note with the tender “For When It Hurts,” which was inspired by the reaction of John Lydon to the death of his friend Keith Flint earlier this year. The lead vocals here were shared by Özüm Özgülgen who helped to give this song a richer tone with his harmonies and helped to lay a foundation for the song’s gorgeous coda to end this album on a spectacular note.
The download [in your favorite format] is yours on Bandcamp for only €4.00 here. But if you prefer physical goods, next week a limited edition cassette version with be released for €7.00 with an additional four bonus tracks. This was a well-played album with a well considered thematic arc that built from song to song and kept its pacing close to its vest. There was no filler here! All of its parts maintained integrity throughout the program. The artistry was evident from start to finish and Yıldız arrived at that sound where Post-Punk began branching off to Goth with a mastery of the intellect and emotion necessaary to succeed very capably. This may have been the debut Rain To Rust album, but it had a long and storied pedigree that was clearly evident. Where he goes to next should prove fascinating.
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This is great-I am certainly buying a copy!
Gavin – I can see a lot of love for this album here at PPM. It hits the standard so strongly. It’s very impressive for basically a one man operation.
Decent album. I enjoyed “Drinking the Ghosts” and “Farewell With Regret” in particular.
leftymcrighty73 – I have a suspicion that future moves may be in the vicinity of “A Farewell With Regret” but I’d like to see the shift to a more dance oriented sound play out more slowly. I like the rock music vibe and want to see it stick around a little longer.
An excellent effort that does indeed remind me of McGeoch/Gallup/Borland meeting up with The Bolshoi and maybe a darker Flock of Seagulls! Cheers to Mert Yıldız for reaching out and correctly judging the audience of this blog! :)