Birmingham native Luke Rainsford is infamous in the underground pop punk market for playing in or with practically every band around. A permanent member of Layover doing vocals and guitar in Fullshore, and having played drums for Coast To Coast, he has a wide variety of skills. He’s even played shows with Trash Boat‘s most recent support Weatherstate, so this lad gets around. On this record however, he throws away everything and everyone he holds dear to put out I’m Nothing Like My Dad Turned Out To Be, his debut solo release.
The record is a singer/songwriter project with elements of This Wild Life, the sense of humour of Lucy Spraggan and the self-deprecation of Charlie McDonnell, yet he manages to keep the style very much his own.
Vocally, Luke stays to his pop punk roots with an Anglicised accent verging on northern English that steers away from the generic American sickly-sweetness shown by so many artists in the modern market. The vocals are solid for most of the record with little pushing his range or going out of the comfort zone, yet somehow are fantastically effective and remain interesting for the whole album. The delivery draws clear and focused attention to the intelligently written lyrics, which leave a lasting impression.
In terms of lyrics then, the record is focused very much on Luke‘s teenage problems with women, a lack of confidence and alcohol. Luke is brutally honest with all three themes. With lines including “I treated her like shit, I’m not fucking proud of it” (Coffee) and “I guess that’s the end of being straight edge” (A Song About Alcohol), he definitely outlines the matters in a serious and almost concerning way, but can be hugely self-deprecating with his outlook too, as shown in I Am Pathetic with “I might not be poetic but oh god I am pathetic, I guess that’s close enough when it comes to writing lyrics” which always brings a smile.
The standout track of the record is Lucid Dreams, which features Maddy Chaney, a friend of Luke’s. The guitar is very much a jazzy style and the vocal part could have been taken straight out of 60s swing album with its delicate yet confident sharps and flats scattered all over the place. Maddy’s voice brings fantastic warmth and adds to the feel as they sing about a long distance relationship. The song is reminiscent of the class of many of the acoustic artists in the chart these days, and shows just how far this young man can go.
Overall, a triumphant and catchy release that is deeper than it may appear at first listen. Luke is a man of many talents and he’ll be touring at some point near you for sure so check out the Facebook pages for his solo stuff here, Layover here and Fullshore here, and his solo project Bandcamp here to hear the record.
Luke Rainsford is also playing a mini tour with Craterface next weekend, see the poster below and check them out!