by / June 29th, 2011 /

B-Movie Lightning – Rain On A River

 3/5 Rating

(Micropolis Records)

Galway-based Mike Smalle was the main creative driving force behind Cane 141, the much-acclaimed electronic/pop act whose Moonpool album was nominated for the first ever Choice Prize in 2005. B-Movie Lightning is his new solo project, and such is its overall vibe and feel that it seems designed to soundtrack the summer months.

Last year’s excellent single ‘Triple Trouble’ gave us a fair idea of what to expect from this project, and it features as the opening track here. It’s an infectious, sun-kissed creation complete with charming brass flourishes and dreamy male/female harmonies. ‘Take Yourself To The City’ carries on in a similar vein: essentially a pop song over a shimmering electro-pop pulse, the lazy reference point would be New Order but it’s more specifically reminiscent of Electronic’s poppier phase (ie. ‘Raise the Pressure’). ‘Foxy Trot’, meanwhile, is a bouncy and carefree mid-tempo tune that recalls Saint Etienne (Ian Catt, who helps out on production and mixing duties here, has been a touring member of said band).

However, the record has its melancholic moments too. ‘The Spooky West’ features wistful vocals, an insistent bassline and subtle, more mournful-sounding brass; while ‘A Country Mile’ is a down-tempo number that provides the twilit alternative to its more radiant counterparts. Similarly providing variety, ‘Theme From B-Movie Lightning’ is the most dancefloor-indebted track, where the ever-present brass works surprisingly well with a pulsating electronic groove and vocoderised vocals. The second half of the album sees Smalle pursue the same gleaming vibe as the opening tracks for the most part: it’s agreeable and charming, although at 13 tracks you do get the feeling that there are no more surprises towards the end of the record. Overall though, a welcome return from one of our more underrated talents.

Rain On A River by B-Movie Lightning

Listen: Spotify | Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Youtube

  • SUFFOLK HUGHES

    WHAT A SURPRISE THIS ALBUM TURNED OUT TO BE. CLEVER LYRICS, CATCHY TUNES, MOODS AND MUSIC VERY UPBEAT. IT MAKES ME SO HAPPY LISTENING TO THIS CD.

  • Karen O’Riley

    don’t ya just love it when a great album comes together beautifully. as soon as it’s done you just want to start playing it all over again. Rain On A River is one such album for me. Irish electronic pop – it’s not been a goldfield to date. somehow, a pioneer has arrived in our midst. From now on, this is what it sounds like. A genre defining work or light and dark, of profound and silly, of the sweet music iof the countryside and industrial bleat of the cities. There isn’t a single weak track on this work.
    5/5 Stars and a Meteor Award for Album of The Year 2011.

  • Karen O’Riley

    don’t ya just love it when a great album comes together beautifully. as soon as it’s done you just want to start playing it all over again. Rain On A River is one such album for me. Irish electronic pop – it’s not been a goldfield to date. somehow, a pioneer has arrived in our midst. From now on, this is what it sounds like. A genre defining work or light and dark, of profound and silly, of the sweet music iof the countryside and industrial bleat of the cities. There isn’t a single weak track on this work.
    5/5 Stars and a Meteor Award for Album of The Year 2011.

  • Fenton Williams

    B Movie Lightning – didn’t know what to expect. Certainly not to get my socks rocked off. Sweet Sweet Abandon is an instant hit. Make that one the next single !