SYNDICATE
Posted by: Dave on January 28, 2002 at 12:09 am

On his solo side project, Rainer Maria’s vigorous guitarist/secondary vocalist tones the group’s passionate emo-rock down considerably and gets intimate. Writing all but two of the songs, Fischer reveals his softer side through well-composed ballads consisting of mainly acoustic guitar with cello and piano filling in occasionally. Up to this point, it sounds like a decent idea. But a solo artist often sings, too. Fans of the band know that Fischer’s vocals are high on heart and energy, and short on accuracy. Strip that down, soften it and slow it up, and you’re in a bit of a bind. There’s just no place for his pitch-challenged voice to hide. Rainer Maria frontwoman Caithlin De Marrais bails him out on “Too Soon To Know” and “Just One More Day” (an Otis Redding cover), and he helps himself out through distortion and a trippy organ drone on “The Noonday Song.” And those three tracks in a row are the album’s most successful. But without solid vocal strength, Kyle Fischer’s well-written introspections fall a little – uh – flat. Rainer Maria’s earnest rock is the proven outlet for Fischer and DeMarrais’ sincere catharsis, and it’s probably best to keep it that way.

– Dave Powers
(As posted 1/28/02 on 3wk.com)



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