New Wavers of the world, rejoice! The Psychedelic Furs are coming out with a brand new album, titled Made of Rain, on Friday, July 31st, 2020 via Cooking Vinyl Records. If you have been counting, that is 29 years after the release of their last full-length, 1991’s World Outside!
The Furs’ eighth album in total, to say it is long overdue would be an understatement. Complete with 12 new songs, it features also for the first time on record Amanda Kramer on keyboard; who has been a member of the band since 2003 and was previously in Information Society (“Tomorrow”).
Getting right to it, it opens stoutly and proudly with the cacophonous and swampy drive of “The Boy Who Invented Rock & Roll.” A strong way to start things off, it straightaway showcases Richard Butler’s distinctive raspy voice; it exudes faint echoes of The Smiths’ “How Soon Is Now?” and features an interesting saxophone-led, grungy and jazzy postlude. This is then followed by the similarly guitar-driven stomper “You’ll Be Mine.” The psychedelic swirls and twirls then weave into the ensuing “Wrong Train,” in which Butler expresses a tone of regret and resentment. The train then slows down with “This’ll Never Be Like Love,” to give Butler a chance to further contemplate on his predicament, with a subtly sad saxophone and guitar ad-lib in the background.
The Butler brothers, Richard (vocals) and Tim (bass), along with the rest of The Psychedelic Furs—Paul Garisto (drums), Rich Good (guitar), Kramer (keyboards), and Mars Williams (saxophone)—then take you to a quiet, night freeway driving, with the solemn and rainy blur of “Ash Wednesday.” Butler then continues his singing and ranting with the album’s lead single, “Don’t Believe.” Another excursion to Jazz/Blues territories then follows in the form of “Come All Ye Faithful.”
In its latest offering, The Psychedelic Furs is really drawing inspiration from the Post-Punk rawness of its early music, as exemplified once again by “No-One.” The next track is a ballad—“Tiny Hands,” a total change of style and pace; with its piano/harpsichord flourishes and Twee/Synthpop-inspired percussion and instrumentation, it is Made of Rain’s light and fine Sophistipop moment. Still in sonically romantic mode, “Hide the Medicine” will then remind the initiated of U2’s “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of.” The second-to-the-last track, “Turn Your Back on Me” has pixie dust and sand grains of the band’s “Heaven” and “Angels Don’t Cry”—classic, nostalgic! Finally, the re-energized Psychedelic Furs wraps up its comeback record with another slow, sparkling song—the shimmery, glossy, and slightly glazed “Stars,” which builds up into a proper rock-sugar closer.
One of the British Post-Punk pioneers—alongside The Cure (“Underneath the Stars”), Modern English (“Moonbeam”), and Simple Minds (“Barrowland Star”)–The Psychedelic Furs was criminally out of the picture in the last couple of decades. Made of Rain definitely puts the sorely missed band back into the league of enduring New Wave music purveyors. That is why Cryptic Rock is pleased to give Made of Rain 4 out of 5 stars.