Emergency Third Rail Power Trip

Emergency Third Rail Power Trip is the debut album by American rock band Rain Parade, released in 1983. It is one of the most prominent records in the Paisley Underground movement of the 1980s.

Emergency Third Rail Power Trip
Emergency Third Rail Power Trip Rain Parade.jpg
Studio album by
RecordedFebruary – March 1983
StudioContour Studios, Los Angeles, California
GenrePaisley Underground, psychedelic pop, jangle pop
ProducerDavid Roback; Ethan James on "Saturday's Asylum"
Rain Parade chronology
Emergency Third Rail Power Trip
Crashing Dream

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [1]
Q     [2]
The Village VoiceC+[3]

In a contemporary review for The Village Voice, music critic Robert Christgau felt that the band imitates "dumb" music from the psychedelic era, specifically "the wimpy singing, wispy tunes, unsure drumming, repetitive guitar effects, and naïve world view of, oh, Kaleidoscope, Morning Glory, Aum."[3]

However, AllMusic's Denise Sullivan would later state that the band was "clearly way ahead of their time," adding that "it would take years before sleepy music ... would catch on."[1] As a result, the "traditional, gentle psychedelic pop" of this record "sounds no more made in the '80s than in the '60s or '90s."[1] In his 2003 book Turn on Your Mind: Four Decades of Great Psychedelic Rock, critic Jim DeRogatis stated, "Emergency Third Rail Power Trip is not only the best album from any of the Paisley Underground bands, it ranks with the best psychedelic rock efforts from any era", with uplifting melodies offset by themes that were "dark and introspective."[4] DeRogatis added:

Songs such as "What's She Done to Your Mind," "Kaleidoscope," and "Look at Merri" showcase Piucci and the Robacks' ethereal vocals, Eddie Kalwa's precise drumming, Matt Piucci's colorful sitar, Will Glenn's violin and keyboard accents, and an intricate, chiming, but droney two-guitar attack that picks up where the Byrds left off with "Eight Miles High."[4]

Musician and critic Scott Miller, in his 2010 book Music: What Happened?, cited "1 Hour 12 Ago" as one of 1983's best songs, calling the Rain Parade "core practitioners" of the Paisley Underground movement, with this album being "probably the most certifiably trippy of the branded projects."[5]

Track listingEdit

  1. "Talking in My Sleep" (M Piucci/D. Roback) – 3:49
  2. "This Can't Be Today" (S. Roback/M. Piucci) – 4:36
  3. "I Look Around" (D. Roback) – 3:07
  4. "1 Hour 12 Ago" (S. Roback/D. Roback) – 4:14
  5. "Carolyn's Song" (D. Roback) – 4:05
  6. "What's She Done to Your Mind" (M.Piucci/D. Roback ) – 2:56
  7. "Look at Merri" (M.Piucci/ D.Roback/S. Roback) – 6:34
  8. "Saturday's Asylum" (S. Roback/M. Piucci) – 3:45
  9. "Kaleidoscope" (S. Roback) – 5:35
  10. "Look Both Ways" (M. Piucci) – 3:10


  • David Roback – vocals, guitar, percussion
  • Matt Piucci – vocals, guitar, sitar, harmonica
  • Steven Roback – vocals, bass
  • Will Glenn – keyboards, violin
  • Eddie Kalwa – drums


  1. ^ a b c Sullivan, Denise. "Emergency Third Rail Power Trip – Rain Parade". AllMusic. Retrieved March 15, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Rain Parade: Emergency Third Rail Power Trip". Q (68): 98. May 1992.
  3. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (June 12, 1984). "Christgau's Consumer Guide: Turkey Shoot". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved August 22, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ a b DeRogatis, Jim (2003). Turn on Your Mind: Four Decades of Great Psychedelic Rock. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 362. ISBN 9780634055485.
  5. ^ Miller, Scott (2010). Music: What Happened?. 125 Records. p. 117. ISBN 9780615381961.