Rainbow Kitten Surprise plays the Wilma Tue., May 1, at 9 PM, with CAAMP. Sold out.
The only reason you might scoff at the band name is if you heard “Rainbow Kitten Surprise” before you heard Rainbow Kitten Surprise.
RKS seamlessly blends genres, shifting between indie rock and an earthy folk with pop-like peaks. There’s also an occasional southern twang that hints at North Carolina roots and gives its sound another distinctive layer.
The real treasure of this album is in the vocals. Lead singer Sam Melo’s voice has a soft crooning nature that most often comes out as an effortless falsetto. Melo has talent for stream-of-consciousness quasi-rap that when unleashed, reveals the vibrant, albeit sometimes grim, lyricism that Rainbow Kitten Surprise has become known for. In “Hide,” Melo packs the heavy emotional struggle of coming-out into just three minutes. “It’s Called: Freefall” begins with the groovy rhyme: “Called to the Devil and the Devil did come / I said to the Devil, ‘Devil do you like drums? / Do you like cigarettes, dominoes, rum?’” My favorite track, “When it Lands” starts slow before Melo launches into high-speed wordplay and a snare drum punching after each line.
If there’s a fault in Rainbow Kitten Surprise, it lies only within the band’s name. Everything else is poetry.