Review Summary: This just goes to show that sometimes growing up isn't such a good thing.
Even though this was promised to be bigger and badder than 2008’s self-titled effort, a song and intro song into the album you already get the feeling that it isn’t going to be. One main reason that this bad has always given me a weird vibe is because lead singer David and lead hot chick Leemarie are into the makeup and goth part of playing punk rock but their brother, Seth (who is a beast behind the kit) isn’t really into the whole artsy part of it, in fact he’d just rather put on a wife beater and let his arms flail about as they all jam out. A couple months ago before the title of the album was even released there was speculation whether or not Seth was even going to be involved on this album due to a misdirecting Tweet that turned out to be nothing, so far. While Rain’s A Comin is almost as fun and perky as its predecessor it just doesn’t hold up to the quality of songs that they wrote for their first album.
One of the moves with this album that was displeasing was instead of using the prior dual male-female vocals, they moved to more of a dominant male vocal with the female vocals being used harmoniously. Since Leemarie seemed to take more of a part in their first album, her somewhat missed presence in this album was a slight letdown. All of the songs are of the same structure and basic sound from the last album, not differing much in variety from their self-titled effort. The song titles from this album could have been better written however. At tracks six and seven you find two tracks in a row that start with “Oh” which is not only repetitive but very drab and unoriginal. The album itself is just slightly shorter in length than their other album as well which is promising because some of their longer songs can seem to drag on but the good songs are the one that range in the two and a half to three minute realm.
“Hey Driftwood (Tides)” is one of the best songs on the album even though it’s just over four minutes long. The lyrics are solid; instruments are light, almost bordering on folk-sy with the vocals of David and Leemarie being spot on with the music putting in the spot of the perfect blend of pop-punk and rock. These guys (and girl) are all about having fun when they are making their music and no matter what song it is they succeed when they do it. The first of the twin “Oh” songs “Oh Bravo” sees Leemarie taking her first chance at leading a song on the microphone. She’s no Hayley Williams but she’s pretty damn solid when it comes to singing and playing the guitar when it’s time for her to rip out a solo. “Oh Honestly” is the acoustic punk song that they left off their last album, it might not be the exact song but it was one of the songs they didn’t have on their self-titled. It’s nothing special but it’s not terrible either. The one thing that keeps Children 18:3 from falling into the same category of pop-punk as bands like Boys Like Girls, All Time Low and Cute Is What We Aim For is because David’s voice is so low. If his voice wasn’t as low as it was and they didn’t play some of the slightly darker songs that they did I think they could easily be grouped into that cluster of terrible pop punk catastrophes.
Towards the end of the album the songs take a different turn starting with “Stronger.” It’s more of a straightforward rock song than a punk song if anything. Almost drawing on a post-grunge sound with some borderline yelled vocals and a pretty decent solo. “Jack ‘O’ Lantern Dreams” is again not very punky by their previous standards set, other than the short song time. “Lost So Long” is the longest song and the final one of the album aside from the piano outro. It again draws on more of a standard rock sound instead of a punk influence where they would normally go. During an interview Leemarie described this album as their progression to “second grade” from “first grade” which was their first self-titled album. This just goes to show that sometimes growing up isn’t such a good thing. While Rain’s ‘A Comin’ isn’t a terrible album by any means it just doesn’t come close to the quality that they achieved with their first full length album and instead of progressing as they did they should have stuck to what made them successful and built off of that.