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Alternative & Indie - Released November 23, 2004 | Polyvinyl Records

Rainer Maria's Look Now Look Again could quite possibly be the last great album from the now tired emo rock scene. Using the loud-soft dynamics of emo and the catchy playfulness of indie pop proves to be a delicious combination, and Rainer Maria pull it off with grace and intelligence. Sometimes sentimental, but never too sappy, Look Now Look Again showcases the band's strongest attributes: boy-girl vocal dueling, stripped down production to reveal the core emotion of a song, and the melodic and furious attack of a band in its prime. Guitar, bass, and drums tastefully play cat and mouse, weaving in and out of each other, laying a solid foundation for Caithlin De Marrais' poetic lyrics. Her verbal gymnastics are a pleasure to listen to, lyrics like "Like foreign post/I leave twice a day, but take a week to get there" or "I'm certain if I drive into those trees/It would make less of a mess/Than you've made of me" are examples of her subtle wit. Although they probably will not be the messiahs of a dying genre, Rainer Maria will be a band whose creative future is beyond promising; Look Now Look Again is their proof. © Dale Nicholls /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released August 18, 2017 | Polyvinyl Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 4, 2006 | Polyvinyl Records

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Pop/Rock - Released August 6, 1996 | Polyvinyl Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 3, 2018 | Polyvinyl Records

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Pop/Rock - Released December 5, 2011 | Polyvinyl Records

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Pop/Rock - Released March 9, 2004 | Polyvinyl Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released December 14, 2004 | Polyvinyl Records

After touring in support of their 2003 release, Long Knives Drawn, and wowing audiences with joint dates with Mates of State, Owen, and Saturday Looks Good to Me, Rainer Maria issued their first-ever live collection. Entitled Anyone in Love With You (Already Knows), the CD/DVD set culls the most representative live tracks since Rainer Maria's 1995 inception. Anyone in Love With You (Already Knows) couldn't have come at a better time, either. With more than 110,000 records sold and 1,000-plus shows under their belts, Rainer Maria received their biggest nods from fans and critics alike with the success of Long Knives Drawn. They reached a plateau as one of indie music's smartest bands to emerge from late-'90s post-grunge, and Anyone in Love With You (Already Knows) celebrates that. Highlights from the 11-song live set include "Mystery & Misery" and "Artificial Light." "The Seven Sisters" finds them at their most dynamic, for Rainer Maria is much more vibrant in concert than they are in the studio. The songs included here find a band much more high-spirited and ready on a stage level. Longtime fans of the band should be more than pleased with the contents of Anyone in Love With You (Already Knows) simply because it's enough. The DVD selection alone is worthy of attention. Recorded while on the Polyvinyl Winter 2003 Tour, Rainer Maria delivers an energetic 13-song set at Cat's Cradle in Chapel Hill, NC. The video for "Ears Ring" and a photo gallery are also included. If anything, knowing that Rainer Maria handpicked every song found on Anyone in Love With You (Already Knows) indicates how much they care about releasing a solid product, and how much they truly adore their fans. You can't beat the love. © MacKenzie Wilson /TiVo
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Pop/Rock - Released January 21, 2003 | Polyvinyl Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 5, 2004 | Polyvinyl Records

If nothing else, with the release of Long Knives Drawn, Rainer Maria have shown everyone one thing: nine is their magic number. Four LPs under their belts and four albums with exactly nine songs. Not too typical, but this trio has hardly ever been conventional. One look at their set-up shows that to be true. There are few bands who have been as successful in the indie rock scene who have a female singer and aren't associated with the riot grrl movement. Nevertheless, Long Knives Drawn finds the band continuing where A Better Version Of Me left off. Compared to early releases, Kyle Fischer's vocals are non-existent; rather, bassist Caithlin de Marrais continues to expand upon her role as the true frontwoman in the band. In many ways, the vocals from de Marrais carry the weight of the album, as they are seemingly the highest element in the mix. Her vocals seem stronger, more confident, and her range better than on any previous recording the band has done. They can be sweet and delicate as on the closer, "Situation: Relation," or grand and saucy as heard on "Ears Ring." Nevertheless, the music isn't without its fair share of attention-grabbers, either. William Kuehn's limbs were surely all over the place in the recording of the album as he shows his extent as a drummer to be quite amazing. De Marrais' bass work is quite proficient, and her skill at the low-end has become more impressive with the release of each album, this one being no exception. Fischer is normally a quite capable guitarist whose antics and energy have been noticed for some time by fans at live shows. However, it seems here that his guitar work is merely meant to tread water, biding time for some big explosion that never seems to come. On that note, it's also worth mentioning that the mix seems uneven, as vocals, bass, and cymbals, are up higher than the snare or guitar. It's not uncomfortable to hear by any means, but it is noticeable if one listens for it. Nevertheless, it's a minor point on an otherwise solid album. Long Knives Drawn isn't as dynamic as Past Worn Searching, nor as bubbly as Look Now Look Again, but it's capable of reaching a larger audience. In other words, it shows a band that has matured and is creating viable pop music while still retaining indie credibility. © Kurt Morris /TiVo
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Pop/Rock - Released November 19, 2002 | Polyvinyl Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 12, 2004 | Polyvinyl Records

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Pop/Rock - Released March 23, 2003 | Polyvinyl Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 2, 2004 | Polyvinyl Records

Emo-core darlings Rainer Maria stay close to heartache and dogmatic independence on their third full-length, A Better Version of Me. Sincerely endearing thanks to the band's passion for poetry and romanticism, classic visceral lyrics are clearly depicted, harmonic story lines picking things up where their critically received sophomore effort Look Now Look Again left off five years prior. Caithlin De Marrais' graceful, yet abrasive vocals craft the dynamic of the band: well-directed musicianship without the frills of overproduced punk-inspired anthems. The musical relationship between Caithlin De Marrais, guitarist Kyle Fischer, and drummer William Kuehn is as enigmatic as Lou Barlow's satirical heartbreak, but also emotionally stripped like Sarah Dougher's feminine toughness. Songs such as "Spit and Fire" and "The Seven Sisters" are De Marrais' swan songs -- pure honesty of self-denial and fear. Such messages are typically found in most pop songs, but a theme never far from any individual in search of something different, something creative, and something real. And like their indie rock cohorts (Bettie Serveert, the Spinanes), Rainer Maria seeks catharsis in an enchanting way and A Better Version of Me supports humanity's internal tussles with taking responsibility. © MacKenzie Wilson /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released July 15, 2008 | Polyvinyl Records

Someone in Rainer Maria must have just gotten out of a relationship around the time that they recorded Hell and High Water. Both sides of this single lyrically deal with post-breakup trauma, rebound relationships, and bickering couples. As sung on the acoustical B-side of "Paper Sack," "So there's your coat and here's your hat/I couldn't fight my way out of a paper sack/No need to leave a note once you've packed/If you can stay gone, I don't want you back." Ouch. The feeling's mutual on "Hell and High Water": "I've seen the girl who'll pick up where I leave off/I've seen her sorting through my memories/She's a better version of me." Musically, "Hell and High Water" is an emotional pop of dual male-female vocals that's catchy enough to make the lyrics hit even harder. The flip of "Paper Sack" isn't as attention getting, but the lyrics could easily relate to anyone who's ever gotten into a fight with their significant other. © Mike DaRonco /TiVo
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Pop/Rock - Released November 16, 1999 | Polyvinyl Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 9, 2004 | Polyvinyl Records

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Pop/Rock - Released April 13, 1999 | Polyvinyl Records

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Pop/Rock - Released October 7, 1997 | Polyvinyl Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 5, 2004 | Polyvinyl Records

Nestled inside any other genre, Rainer Maria's caterwauling duets would probably be hung by their britches -- but this is American emocore, which necessitates musicians caress while sounding like atonal Wire demos. A tricky business, to be sure, and it's not an envious occupation. Past Worn Searching repeatedly builds on the deception of traditional rows and loud-soft choruses, puncturing holes in transitions, never minding the inclusion of off-key belts and stories of Hepatitis A. This is mostly a neutered trick despite itself. The album never overcomes its usual trappings either in the album's own ingredients -- one can see the volume jolts coming a mile away -- or the genre itself. In many ways, a beggar's version of the Tiny and Vanessa dynamics in Ultrasound. © Dean Carlson /TiVo