In the Bible, the Book of Genesis to be precise, there was a guy called Reuben. He was only separated from Abraham, the father of the Jewish race, by a couple of generations. Out of all his brothers, it seemed that he was the most altruistic out of all of them. He was the one who convinced his brothers not to kill Joseph (of Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat fame). A pretty decent thing to do for someone. He was also the one who tried hardest to rescue Joseph after he had been taken into slavery.
It seems that the band Reuben is following their namesake’s example, though on a much larger scale. Britain’s in a bit of a sorry state at the moment. While the news is covering it up, there have been 12 murders only in the last couple of months, mostly revolving around kids with guns. The worst example was when some children, some of whom were under 10 years old, stoned a man to death while in the park. Of course, Jamie Lenman’s noticed this. And you can tell that he’s angry about it.
You only need to listen to We’re All Going Home In An Ambulance
to hear this for yourself. Starting off slowly, then building up gradually, the only possible impression is one of fury, not least with the copious amounts of screaming that Jamie does. Unsurprisingly the song contains some really darkened riffs coupled with pounding drums and brooding bass. The typically English gang vocals were a pretty nice touch too, repeating ‘You’re going home in a fuc
king ambulance!’ in much the same style that people would chant at a football game (or “Soccer” to you crazy Americans). While it’s short, it’s all you need to extract the meaning on the first listen.
While the rest of this album doesn’t follow in this vein, it’s still contemptuous for most of the time. It’s refreshing that the band knows how to cool down after a while such as on the single, Deadly Lethal Ninja Assassin
. If the title’s not enough to let you know that this is laid back, then you need to find out what a deadly lethal ninja assassin is. Out of all of them, this song would be the best choice for a single. It’s catchy as hell and the lyrics don’t mean anything at all. Perfect for the masses. And when I say the lyrics don’t mean anything, I speak truth:
Jimmy got drunk, on his way to class,
swinging from the roof,
showed everyone his ass,
and if you ask him "why" he shakes his head and laughs, there was nothing for re-ea-al.
Those lyrics and fuzzy bass lines equals a winning formula.
As a unit, these guys are tight. The hooks are distinctive, the drums are hit with a good level of vigour and the bass makes for a good ledge for each song to jump from. While these guys aren’t going to be breaking any technical barriers and becoming the next Rush, for a three-piece band, they do everything well. Jamie even breaks out the keyboard on Crushed Under The Weight Of The Enormous Bullshit
, and he does a pretty good job on it too.
The only thing holding this album back is the quality of their other work. This album’s less focused on one genre and suffers because of it. But only slightly. A band should always be commended for mixing up their sound and Reuben is no different. Jamie confessed this himself before the release with this quote, ‘[this album is] heavier and longer but also poppier and shorter’, and this is true. It is a much easier listen than Very Fast, Very Dangerous
on the first time round but ultimately, that album is just more steady on it’s feet. The only option this leaves for the band is to get better, and they’re well up to the task.
These guys are on the threshold, the door is open, all they need is that one little push to leap through. You want a contemporary rock done right? Forget the Foo Fighters, you need these guys.
When I heard Worship & Tribute,
I thought my dreams come true,
but listening to most other bands,
it seems they all did to.