One thing that immediately stands out about Looks Like Rain is vocalist Amy Court, who begins this EP with a very Susanne Vega meets Dolores O’Riordan set of vocals. The music may not be the most intricate of nests in which to lay the sweet vocals of Amy, but really functions well as a background. Imagine the light-rock stylings of Sixpence None the Richer and one will get the general sound of the rest of Looks Like Rain. The production on the EP seems to lack, especially during tracks like “Early”, which suffers due to an early lack of bombast, making Amy’s voice seem small, even tiny. The track does much to rectify this problem by putting the band in slightly more of a faster tempo and rock feel, a move which Court seems more than happy to work.
“Everything” might just be the artistic climax of this EP, as the arrangements found on this disc, especially regarding Joe’s Peart-like bass lines and the inclusion of a more electronic guitar line just pop with a fresh style and desire to continually plow up the fertile loam that marks Looks Like Rain’s music. Finishing off the EP with the unnecessarily echoed-vocals of Amy coupled alongside a pseudo-slide guitar, Looks Like Rain struggles to find a proper close to this disc. The track may be in the same vein as “William”, but much like “Baby, Baby”-era Amy Grant, this track does not feel like it has a function .
Even if there was nothing much wrong with the production and recording on the first EP, the first of the newer tracks (Big Black Car) just feels more clear than anything up to this point, with Amy assuming a more sultry set of vocals that resound darkly over the entire track. The arrangements are not quite as simplistic as they were at points during the 2001 demo, and “Big Black Car” seems to be groomed for adult contemporary. “Standing Somewhere” has a longer-term vision that anything else previously done by Looks Like Rain, in the sense that the swaths cut by the dreamy guitars maintain the test of time; this song is going to not feel dated if I pick up the disc three or four years down the road. “Standing Somewhere” should be on radio; I can just hear it coupled with Kimberly Locke’s “8th World Wonder”.
Top Track: Big Black Car
Looks Like Rain – S/T EP +2 / 2001 + 2005 Self-Released / 6 Tracks / http://www.lookslikerain.net / email@example.com / Reviewed 20 April 2005