Throughout this week you may have heard a really great, catchy song on the radio and thought ‘hmm that sounds kind of like The Rubens…’ Well, it probably was. After a three-year hiatus they’re back with a new album.
The alt-rock band from Menangle, NSW have just released their second studio album, ‘Hoops’.
They’ve had a relatively short but successful history, especially since their single ‘My Gun’ cracked the top 10 in Triple J’s Hottest 100 for 2012. Riding the wave of success for the last three years, the boys have become a staple on any sizeable Aussie music festival. Though, all waves eventually crash and their sophomore album was overdue.
The first track ‘Hallelujah’ was debuted a few months ago along with a quirky music video that mostly succeeded in generating hype for the upcoming album. Many fans seemed to be excited by the slightly heavier rock sound they were hearing. Zaac Margin’s skills as lead guitarist need to be highly commended after this album, as there is certainly no shortage of guitar solos.
‘Hallelujah’ was destined to be a hit with a dance-provoking beat and a chorus that is begging to be screamed. Someone commented on the official YouTube video saying that it won’t be long until we see this song being used for AFL commercials and I have to agree.
However, it is with a heavy heart that I admit, the album praise doesn’t go much further than the first few tracks. Each track has its redeeming catchy riffs and soulful vocals, but it takes more than a good riff to stand out in the cut-throat music industry these days. The majority of the tracks sound very similar, perhaps a blessing in disguise for those of you who really love this particular sound. There’s so much pressure for bands to evolve their sound and keep up with trends, including (and most importantly) trends that haven’t even happened yet. To put it simply, just because something worked well back in 2012, doesn’t mean it’s gonna fly in 2015.
Having said this, there are a couple of tracks that really shine amongst the others. ‘Hoops’ is a definite favourite that’s already been on repeat. A strong, slower beat and melodious song writing make this track one of the best on the whole album. Must. Learn. Lyrics.
Following ‘Hoops’ is the fourth track, ‘Switchblade’, which is another favourite. This track really highlights Sam Margin’s vocals, which are almost as dreamy as he is. Similar to ‘Hoops’, this track has a slower beat and a more evident emotional undertone that conveys the torment of love and relationships.
Overall, it’s difficult to knock the guys due to their overwhelming amount of skill as traditional musicians. Although this album might not have met expectations, we’re still stoked that we’ve got some new Rubens tunes to sing along to.
The Rubens will be joined by Saskwatch and Winterbourne when they stop at HQ Complex on their national 'Hoops' tour on October 8th. Get your tickets here before they sell out!
Header Image via The Rubens Facebook