It's been awhile since we've heard from Rainstation Zero, the Pittsburgh-based band that debuted in 2007 with a self-titled slab of hard-rock riffs paired with female vocals. After a significant lineup change, the band's back and better than ever with Glisten Through the Wave, a further refinement of its style, with roots in early '90s alt rock.
With singer Bethany Berkstresser's departure last year, the band's founding members -- guitarist Anthony "Ant" Morelli, bassist Greg Damjanovic and drummer Shawn Dalverny -- began the search for a suitable replacement. With new singer Sarah Jane Edinger, the band seems to have found a real rock 'n' roller, her vocals giving the songs' considered riffs and breakdowns a wilder edge.
Recorded at Morelli's home studio, Glisten finds the band more confident and sure of its sound overall. The album's opener and single, "Sweet Release," carries just a hint of early Soundgarden with Morelli's crunchy riffs and squealing leads. But while the guitars remain fairly heavy and saturated throughout, the band largely avoids the morass of doom and gloom that swallows so many post-grunge rock bands.
The major-key "Damned If We Don't" has a soaring quality, while "Catch Me Now" erupts into wordless Perry Farrell-esque syllables. "The Photographer" approaches a kind of Pearl Jam power-ballad style with proggy turnarounds; you instinctively reach for a lighter to raise when Edinger belts out, "The world is waiting to fall in love with you / We've all got heartache we can share / We all need someone to give a damn, and you know I care!"
Join Rainstation Zero for the band's release show at 9:30 p.m. Fri., Nov. 13, at Hard Rock Café, with CatGut Tonic and Crashing Metropolis. For more information, visit www.rainstationzero.com.
Fans of Rainstation 1.0 can check out original singer Bethany Berkstresser's solo release, Bethany B. The EP. Before leaving town for a stint in Korea, she recorded five acoustic songs, mostly at Blackberry Studios in Lawrenceville. In stark contrast to the Rainstation Zero album she performs on, the EP is casual and lo-fi, evocative of a weird weekend spent curled up with a 4-track. The piano-driven "Sweet July" has an almost oldies sound to it, while opener "Drama King" is an odd cacophony of overdubbed vocals. For more info, visit www.myspace.com/bethanyb23.