Recent city developments have Norman metal mainstays Rainbows Are Free laughing devilishly.
by Joshua Boydston
Should the Satanist-proposed monument of goat-headed idol Baphomet make its way onto the Capitol steps, Oklahoma City has just the band for its unveiling.
Norman’s own Rainbows Are Free calls its brand of doomsday dirges and post-apocalyptic poetry “the devil’s music,” setting stoner rock riffs to hellish tales of mind-bending torment.
In the minds of these purveyors of Southern-fried metal, a shrine to the dark side would be good for Oklahoma.
“My natural inclination was to support it because it would piss off the status quo,” guitarist Richie Tarver said. “I think it’s good to shake up this monolithic, Oklahoman infusion of politics and religion … even if it means supporting the Church of Satan.”
But before you go hiding your wife, kids and pets from the five-piece, realize that its tongue is planted pretty firmly in its cheek.
There are no animal sacrifices or blood pacts to be found at rehearsals, but jokes and laughs abound from the dudes who are known to take the stage dressed as wizards or the Village People in the name of channeling their “inner Parliament-Funkadelic.”
“There’s not a lot of brooding in the darkness,” Tarver said of the band’s collective demeanor. “We can’t help it. We just can’t take anything too seriously.”
Like some sort of wicked escapist pornography, Rainbows Are Free’s music and lyrics are born more out of a place of fascination than darkness. Its allegiance to metal and psych-rock figureheads like Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and 13th Floor Elevators assures an earnest final product and a searing sound capable of impressing even the blackest hearts in the crowd.
It’s good to shake up this monolithic, Oklahoman infusion of politics and religion.
— Richie Tarver
“There are those austere, cutthroat dudes who live in a van and breathe heavy-metal Satan and that’s it at shows,” Tarver said. “We get our respect, nonetheless.”
The strength of material found on Believers in Medicine, the band’s 2010 full-length debut, has something to do with that. That legacy is cemented with Waves Ahead of the Ocean, its new album, celebrated with Saturday’s show at Opolis.
Waves finds the band as heavy as ever, only recharged with a sinful lust for rhythm and groove right up Queens of the Stone Age or Mastodon’s alley.
“This one has a little more of a rock ’n’ roll vibe and less psychedelicinfused metal,” Tarver said. “It’s crafted a little better, and there’s less reliance on ambient effects. It’s more of what the band would do live.”
The plans for the coming year are still up in the air, although the band said regional touring is sure to happen. Requests for lyrics are pouring in, even from teenagers across Brazil, Germany and the United Kingdom. This has them pining for a trip across the pond, all while stewing in the irony of America’s most conservative state bearing some of the world’s finest devil-music.
“To find that we have fans in those places, where metal still really thrives, to have that exposure and recognition is weird to think about,” Tarver said. “It’s a bewildering thing to have people listen to us that might not even know our language.”
UPDATE: Due to a delay at the pressing manufacturer, the vinyl LPs have been delayed. We expect to have them within 8-10 business days. We will update as soon as we learn more. Apologies. REVISED RELEASE DATE IS 2/18/14
NEW ALBUM PRE-SALE!!!!!! Waves Ahead of the Ocean on LP/CD/Digital Download
Pre-Sale begins 10/11/13
Check for special limited edition pre-sale only products in the RAF Store soon!!
ALL LP pre-sales come with advance digital copy of the album.
First 100 LPs sold come with a limited edition poster print of the album cover art by artist Tony Roberts.
Tentative release date for album is 2/18/14 (Subject to change).
RAF featured in the current issue of UK's Classic Rock Magazine! The track Slow Train off of current release BELIEVERS IN MEDICINE is on the compilation disc that comes with the issue. Plus you can listen to the promo podcast, Super Rock Power Hour, featuring our music and other upcoming bands here: http://mos.futurenet.com/resources/metalhammer/Superrock1redux.mp3
It's actually an awesome podcast, so check it out. The Issue came out June 22nd, so go pick it up!