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"music review: FRAME OF MIND cd release"

At first listen, FRAME OF MIND might give you deja vu; it features familiar Bowie-esque 70s and 80s pre and post punk styles coupled with Gary Numan sneer and biteing 90s style guitar hooks. All washed over by a cool filter of commercial glitz and pop sensible appeal. Could this much familiarity withen a rock band summon its immediate and un-warranted demise? Not if your RAILER and your songs, pound for pound, simply ROCK! Using Portland Oregon as its port of all call, there hasn't been a more deserving band to splash so hard since Placebo or The Faint. So with each tasty morsel that FRAME OF MIND unloads on a truly unsuspecting listener, the MORE that listener will want. This is some very good alternative rock elbowing for attention in a musical spectrum polluted by poppy conterfeit punk and angst driven nu-metal. Dripping in well crafted songs and an "I cant belive this isn't bubble gum" zeal, tracks like "KISS FIX", "BLUES VERSUS THE STARS", "CROSSING THE LINE" or hell, any song on the album, works as well as anything Blur or Radiohead has done in their careers. This is unmistakeably good college rock done right, and you would be doing yourself a huge favor by adding it to your collection."
-Joseph Graham

"Solid musicianship, whispy vocals, and dreamy lyrics"

Titles like "Blue Versus The Stars", "Kiss Fix", and "Theory As To What Is Beautiful" illustrate that Railer is an artsy indie band who have slight new wave influences mixed into their solid musicianship, whispy vocals, and dreamy lyrics. Serve with a grassy hillside and a dark night, perfect for star-gazing into the heavens with a significant anyone. - Score Music Magazine

"A complete triumph, evident of ability over budget and talent over hype."

‘Frame Of Mind’ is only a ten-track record, and this is where it thrives – confining the consistently tuneful and utterly infectious alt-indie to a minor track-listing. Opening with the soaring ‘Blues Versus The Stars’, instantly noticeable is the magic uniqueness of Randall Scott’s voice, whose vocal-display is only similar to that of Paul Draper, frontman of UK-combo, Mansun. However, far more intriguing arguably are the following numbers – the thrillingly haunting ‘Kiss Fix’, razor-sharp guitars of ‘Crossing The Line’ and engagingly memorable chorus of ‘Déjà Vu’; only a downbeat and soothing ‘Theory As To What Is Beautiful’, which arrives next, can mellow the excitement so excruciatingly well. It’s fair to say that, by this point, however, the album has reached its summit; although the latter tracks, ‘Minor Dream’ and the finale of ‘When I See You Again’ (a most likely prospect when addressing the playing of this CD in repeat-functions in the near future), stir a similar rousing effect, the chances are that you’ll have experienced the album’s peak. Still, for a debut-effort, recorded in humble surroundings and by the band themselves, this is exemplary – a complete triumph, evident of ability over budget and talent over hype, possessive of song-writing skills lacking from many of those top artists currently at the paramount position of their careers. - Rockfeedback.com

"Railer delivers a high-quality product that is as ambitious as it is accessible"

Every once in a great while, you hear a record that is simultaneously fresh and familiar. Like a really hot shower or a shot of espresso, the music is shocking and comforting at the same time. I don’t think there’s a better feeling. Most humans I know, including myself, are instinctively drawn to that which is most familiar and comfortable, and it takes a supreme effort for them to push themselves into alien territory, even when they know that the change might be invigorating. The best way to get people to try something new is to incorporate enough stuff that’s not so new. And that’s what Railer’s debut album, Frame Of Mind, is all about. Speaking of invigoration, as I sit here sweating through another obscenely hot Colorado summer day, the electric ceiling fan pathetically spreading the heat around my house, I think a trip to Anchorage, Alaska sounds really invigorating. I’ve never been to Alaska and I don’t know anything about it, but I imagine it would be cool and serene right about now. While I’m there, I’ll definitely make a point of stopping by Randall Scott’s house to shoot the proverbial breeze about the world we live in and life in general. Scott is the mastermind behind Anchorage’s Railer, a band whose live lineup is constantly shifting to help realize Scott’s musical vision. On their new record, Scott and Gabe Castro are the only musicians, producers, and writers credited. Their press suggests that Paul Jacks and Seth Blankenship (both thanked in the record’s liner notes) might play keys and drums respectively, while Shawn Flanigan might play bass. It’s a bit of a mystery. But what isn’t a mystery is why Railer is building a fervent following in places far from their remote headquarters. Frame Of Mind is that delightful combination of the familiar and the alien. A lot of this music reminds me of the New Wave and "modern rock" music that first caught my ear in the late 70s and early 80s. The music is full of the paradoxes that characterized much of that music: electronic textures blended effortlessly with standard rock instrumentation, emotional lyrics delivered with a wry detachment, black turtlenecks with hearts sewn on the sleeves. Railer cites Depeche Mode, Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, and Garbage as influences, but I also hear Psychedelic Furs, early Cure, and maybe Split Enz (by the way, faithful covers of the Pumpkins’ "Cherub Rock" and Radiohead’s "Fake Plastic Trees" are available on the band’s website). A friend of mine even asked if I was listening to Jane’s Addiction (it’s the voice). Lest I spend too much time on the "familiar" side and give the impression that Railer is simply New Wave redux (far from it), perhaps I should give a little attention to what makes Railer unique. First of all, there’s that voice. Scott’s lead vocals are chameleonic, adapting constantly to the colors of the song. He is capable of everything from a quiet croon to a nasal chant to a Corgan-esque squawk. And, yes, at times, there’s a little bit of Thom Yorke in him (isn’t there a little in each of us?). Then there’s the interplay between the crunchy rock-n-roll rhythm guitars and the sometimes-sinister sometimes-ethereal keyboard lines. The drums all sound programmed and range from dubby grooves to Godflesh-style rock/industrial beats. Finally, there are Scott’s lyrics. Alternating between wide-eyed idealism and world-weary skepticism (and occasionally lapsing into willful inscrutability and/or melodrama), the lyrics on Frame Of Mind convey all the complexity of life in the brave new world of the 21st century. The album opens with the idealistic love song, "Blues vs. The Stars". This track contains many of the elements that you’ll come to identify as Railer signatures: the aforementioned guitar/keyboard counterpoint, overdubbed vocal harmonies, and a truly contagious melody. The shift to "Kiss Fix", the album’s second track, is a bit of shock. There’s a Schifrin-esque 60s spy movie feel to the hook, while the vocal melody wouldn’t be out of place on a Faint record. And where "Blues" is a straightforward love song, "Kiss Fix" is a slightly sleazy lust song (All I need’s your body/Someone to touch me). The next track, "Crossing The Line", is one of the highlights of the album. Its head-bobbing groove and sing-a-long chorus will embed themselves in your brain and remain long after you’ve listened to the rest of the album. Skipping ahead to the understated centerpiece of the album, "Theory As To What Is Beautiful", we find a quiet, haunting song about the persistence of human relationships in spite of all else. The drums are at their most unabashedly electronic, the keyboard pads repeat a simple figure, the vocals barely rise above a whisper, and the guitar is only present to supply a subtle bent-note motif. This is followed by "A Part Of You", a wonderful Sturm und Drang romp that could just as easily have come out of Trent Reznor’s home studio in 1990 as it did from Randall Scott’s basement studio in 2002. The - CDBABY.COM author: Eryc Eyl

"Critics' Corner: RAILER"

It’s been awhile since I’ve pulled the car over to properly quiet the kids screaming in the backseat. “Daddy, review our band, review our band! Please, please, please, please…” they say. I swear, sometimes the StarPolish community should just be placed complacently in front of a Nintendo and lullabyed to sleep with their uploaded tracks. (ha ha – didn’t we just give away a Gameboy Advance in our latest contest? Am I going to have to ground someone?)
All kidding aside, I’ve openly passed the “reviewing torch” to more journalistically inclined newbies like Chris Mugno and seasoned professionals like Bob Doerschuk. As we try to push the StarPolish site into new directions, I rarely have a time to take a crack at a round of Critics Corner reviews anymore. Recently, however, I stumbled on an artist that is truly a diamond in the rough, and I feel compelled to spread the word.
Enter Railer, a rock quartet hailing from Anchorage, Alaska. If you’re planning a move to Alaska, let this serve as a warning: The Anchorage natives should take shelter now, because Railer is an album away from melting the ice cap. These kids have “it.”
To set the tone: the band’s bio they’ve posted on StarPolish quotes a review drawing comparisons to Depeche Mode and the Smashing Pumpkins. I agree. Please understand the weight of that statement; I wouldn’t pass such a judgment along trivially… I respect both bands far too much. Railer deserves that comparison far more than any independent band in recent memory.
The song “A Part of You” is the initial offering posted to the StarPolish page, with the entire new album previewable at the band’s official site (www.railerband.com). As we know, there’s no “I” in “Team,” and “A Part of You” showcases the incredible songwriting abilities of this band as a whole. I’m set aback by how well the individual instruments combine with the vocal melody – and yet retain their unique voice throughout. An ominous intro unfolds into a paced verse line, which in turn explodes into a deadly chorus hook. The dissonant guitar weaves the web, and the vocal line sinks it’s teeth into the fly. Also worthy of mention is the song’s well timed vocal breakdown, which serves as a much needed release before the song continues to combust. This is a great song, and the self produced album delivers more of the same.
At the risk of sounding overdramatic – I’ll leave you with this: it’s an inarguable point that music along these lines peaked in 1989 with the release of Depeche Mode’s Violator. Nine Inch Nails provided several spikes in the genre long ago, and Railer is an unknown looking to push the this stock market back into the black. Invest now.


"SHOW REVIEW @ the famous Satyricon"

My boyfriend has been singing the praises of Railer since he first saw them at new band night at Satyricon on October 27th, 2002. I heard their CD, "Frame of Mind", and felt this would be a fun band to see "LIVE"! And live is where Railer shines. Vocalist, Randall, is the dreamy rock and roll boy guaranteed to make hearts flutter; Zev is the beautifully androgynous bassist; guitarists Andrew and Rey looked almost Anime; and drummer, Jason, keeps the rhythm rocking. Railer's set includes many tracks from Frame of Mind such as "Deja Vu", "When I See You Again", "Blues Verses the Stars", "A Part of You", and my faves (and most certain hits-on-the-horizon) "Crossing The Line" and "Kiss Fix". Keep your eyes and ears on Railer, because they are definitely going to attract lots of attention with their catchy tunes and lively stage presence. - IN MUSIC WE TRUST


"FRAME OF MIND" (released in 2003)
new album in the works



RAILER's Swooning Synth Solos, Death March Dance Beats and Love and Lost Lyrics...
-Be you Boy or Girl-
the only thing thats going to be wet around here is your UNDIES....