Review Summary: Prepare to be 'a crooning and 'a swooning...
There is something special about The Rubens but it’s not because of their ability to rise to astronomical fame in Australia at a ridiculous rate of knots. Though it might be because it is hard to distinguish how the heck they have created a matured and polished sound for a band that seemingly list no accomplishments or achievements on their resume up to this point. Maybe it is that The Rubens approach to soul drenched rock and roll has been getting flurries of comparisons to Tennessee giants, Kings of Leon? And it is not hard to see why, as The Rubens contain the brothers Margin (Zaac, Elliott and Sam) and mate Scott Baldwin as well as creating bluesy rock ‘n’ roll with catchy hooks and pub sing-a-long choruses. The only difference between the two is that The Rubens will fill your ears with the nostalgic muse and whimsical ramblings that make you want to grab the nearest person and slow dance your way through the afternoon, something that the Kings of Leon hardly pride themselves on.
The track that led The Rubens astonishing rise is the lauded, ‘Lay It Down’ which found its way into the Triple J Hottest 100 last year. The wrenchingly soul soothing track implies the mood and layout for the rest of what is to come; howling organ lines, bombastic drums and plenty of dirty southern blues riffs. ‘My Gun’, the bands second single, which really reiterates the bands styling’s with heavily catchy choruses and that uneasy whisky soaked guitar grunge giving the listener that jukebox classic that will be sure to be played in pubs all over. Sam Margin’s vocals are a huge factor and reasoning to The Rubens southern sound, much like Caleb Followill, as they penetrate and create that extra dirty layer. Margin brings a beautifully pasty, deep crooning which rubs perfectly to the 60’s guitar tone, which brings a perfect rounding to their overall sound.
Lyrically, The Rubens are letting out a whole heap of self distress about the common mans society, like on the opener, ‘The Best We Got’, Margin yelps, “They say these days are the best we’ve got / What a tragic thought”
. They also sing about every young man’s heart ache, girls, but in a more valiant, matured fashion, “I gave the means, she had the will / I kept on pushin’ for the kill / Never thought she’d finish me / She shot me down and left to bleed.”
The one flaw that really sustains for The Rubens is the slight lack of consistency within the song writing as some of the later song of the album begin to wonder, and are completely devoid of much direction, yet the harnessing power of the first half of the album stem a pleasant tickle on the listeners ear. The one consequence of such a quick rise is the hard fall, but the whiskey filled rock that The Rubens create seem to drown out the pessimistic cry’s. These 3 brothers and friend have a bright future ahead of them if they can maintain the same approach to the rest of their musical career.