Rain Design : Massacre in An Affluent Suburb!
The setting: Anytown, New England inside a tiny, makeshift club lacking any sort of fixture remotely resembling a stage. Maybe it's a teen center or veteran's hall that will eventually refuse the notion of hosting such an event due, largely in part, to liquor liabilities or the incurred damages done to the bathrooms, perpetually slathered with the gloss of mustard-colored stains. It's a hardcore/screamo show. Or maybe it's an emocore/post-hardcore show. No one really knows. In any event there are more Majority Rule and Bane shirts than you can shake a sXe-tattooed fist at. The last band just wrapped up their set and is hurriedly dragging their equipment backstage. In their place appear six strangers - a lanky, six-foot-plus fellow with razor-straight hair past his nipples, which are clearly visible through his fishnet shirt; an overtly jovial man who's face is almost entirely consumed by his beard; a diminutive individual decked-out in brightly-colored tweed bellbottoms and a matching jacket; a pale fellow with hair quickly on it's way to becoming an afro and who, upon closer examination, happens to be a dead ringer for Corey Feldman; a young woman wielding a glockenspiel and a spastic-flavored 50s house dress; a quiet guy wearing a muscle shirt and track pants - not entirely aware of how they clash with the audience before them. The crowd roll their eyes with an oh-god-let's-get-this-over-with sort of connotation as the band hauls an impossible number of instruments onstage. Somewhere someone yells 'dude they've got three f***in' keyboards!' Without any introduction the band abruptly explodes into a squall of white noise filling out a 7-song set. With no breaks, no words between songs, allowing the audience to catch their breath, the set ends as suddenly as it started. The show-goers are drawn. After 30 minutes of gut-wrenching, albeit perplexing, cacophony lacquered with spacey guitars, hardcore breakdowns, danceable disco rhythms, sweet and sour vocals, and a warped new wave vibe as unsettling as it was poppy, some are in awe. Some are disgusted. Others are merely bewildered. The band swiftly packs up and exits the stage without a word. This is The Rain Design. Conceived in the suburban sprawl of western Massachusetts in the spring of 2002, The Rain Design originated as the pet project of Adam Kozak, singer of the now-defunct Last In First Out. Dissatisfied with his lack of musical input with the band, he began the project initially as an outlet for his industrial and post-punk background. Tinkering with samplers, synthesizers, and sequencers for several months, Kozak managed to piece together several songs that would eventually appear on the EP 'In Vestigial Tongues', released later that year on his imprint label Dolichocephalic Records. Strewn with bizarre song-arrangements, mangled drumbeats, distorted synths, a bevy of horror-film samples, and mid 90s post-hardcore-inspired vocal melodies, the EP showcased a sound Kozak described as 'Skinny Puppy covering Sunny Day Real Estate'. 'In Vestigial Tongues' received favorable reviews and college radio airplay throughout the eastern states. However, due to the lack of a live band, and most of his time being devoted to his primary band, only a couple hundred copies were distributed and the project was delegated for the backburner indefinitely. Upon leaving Last In First Out in October of 2003, Kozak embarked on the arduous task of assembling members for a live incarnation of The Rain Design. The result proved to be nothing more than a revolving door of members which yielded sporadic, uneven shows. This plagued The Rain Design until settling on the semi-permanent, current roster with Justin Bard on guitar, Doug Donaldson on bass, Jameson Lavo on drums, Jesse Cross on keyboards, Cora Rose Gaulin on glockenspiel, vocals, keys and percussion, and Kozak on vocals and the occasional guitar and keys. It was also around this time that Kozak set to work on new material, this time with the incorporation of live guitar, bass, percussion, and other instrumentation. The result is the epic full-length debut 'Massacre in an Affluent Suburb!' released November 2005 on Dolichocephalic Records. Recorded and produced entirely by Kozak, 'Massacre...' weaves a dark pop tapestry threaded with elements of early industrial, shimmering space rock, horror-surf, doo wop, and chaotic post-punk over a lyrical bed brimming with suburban nightmares and social dsytopia. 'This far eclipses anything I've ever done musically,' Kozak promises. 'This is what punk rock sounded like to me before I heard it.'