Good Old War - Come Back As Rain
Sargent House, 2012
Three and a half stars
Come Back As Rain is a worthwhile release from a talented trio of musicians; it's just not a great one. Those who have listened to the band in the past should know exactly what to expect, and that's not necessarily a bad thing, one just wishes that they had taken a few more risks. Still, as uplifting, summer-ready indie folk-pop, Good Old War do their jobs satisfactorily, with terrific vocals, crisp acoustic guitars, lively percussion (and occasional handclaps), and a true gift for melody. Those qualities will undoubtedly land any number of these songs on summer playlists and mixtapes (my own included) for anything from beach parties, to road trips, to bonfires, and maybe a few will even become favorites. But at the end of the day, Come Back As Rain still suggests the same thing I've thought about Good Old War from the first time I heard their music: that, as talented as they are and as many good songs as they are capable of constructing, they are one of those bands that is better in smaller, individual doses than in full album-length ones. It's a shame, because I think someday they could make a truly great record, but for now, is there anything really wrong with being a "playlist band?"