Stanton Park reissued the Rising Storm’s album Calm Before… in 1992 just in time for the 25th anniversary of its release. The band celebrated the reissue (and their 25th High School reunion) by playing a series of shows and recording some new material. Inspired by the popularity of “tribute” albums, the concept of this mini-tribute to the Rising Storm was hatched. Frozen Laughter, the resulting double-45, includes two songs from the Storm’s 1992 sessions plus covers by two bands they inspired.
Head and the Hare’s stunning debut had already paid tribute to Calm Before… with its album jacket and more importantly with their caring recreation of the New England garage sound. Their choice of garage-thumper “She Loved Me” was almost as obvious as their inclusion in this tribute. Sandoz Lime, though musically less obvious, was led by Dave Brown who inspired so many with his New England Teen Scene collections. Faithful to the original, however, is not the way to approach their contribution. How a teen band came up with a song like “The Rain Falls Down” is still a mystery, but Sandoz Lime managed to transform the wide-eyded innocence of the original into an overtly psychedelic journey.
For their part, from the Rising Storm’s 1992 sessions one original stood out. “Tryin’ to Fool,” by guitarist Bob Cohan, begins with a jangly guitar intro leading to a song that is a bit more grown up from their Andover days. During their reunion shows the band performed an excellent version of “Signed D.C.,” and on a lark decided to record it at the end of their session. It turned out to be one of the best tracks and particularly showcases Tony’s singing. A few overdubs and voila!