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The Rubens — Hoops

The Rubens — Hoops (August 7th, 2015)

             The Rubens — Hoops (August 7th, 2015)
★Ξ★    Bluesy treat Switchblade is reminiscent of the slower Jimi Hendrix moments, while fifth track Bitter End holds a more R&B feel with a subtle build up that explodes into a feast of frequencies.
★Ξ★    “Flashy drum machines, peeled off distorted guitar solos, and bigger, ballsy choruses.”Location: Menangle, Macarthur region of New South Wales, Australia.
Album release: August 7th, 2015
Record Label: Ivy League Records
Duration:     35:09
01 Hallelujah     2:56
02 The Night Is On my Side     3:16
03 Hoops     2:39
04 Switchblade     3:50
05 Bitter End     3:04
06 Cut Me Loose     3:00
07 Things About To Change     2:47
08 Battles     3:39
09 Hold Me Back     2:55
10 The Original     3:49
11 The Fool     3:14
℗ 2015 Ivy League Records
★Ξ★    Sam Margin — Guitar/Lead Vocals
★Ξ★    Elliott Margin — Keys/Vocals
★Ξ★    Zaac Margin — Lead Guitar
★Ξ★    Scott Baldwin — Drums
★Ξ★    Will 'Hog' Zeglis — Bass
★Ξ★    Hoops is the highly awaited sophomore album from The Rubens. The band’s debut, self–titled record reached certified Platinum sales in Australia and its lead single ‘My Gun’ won the prestigious APRA Award for Best Rock Work and came in at #10 in triple j’s Hottest 100. They also won ‘Best Unearthed Artist’ and were nominated for ‘Best Album’ at triple j’s J Awards and received five ARIA Award Nominations.
★Ξ★    The story of Hoops starts in September 2013 when Sam, Elliot, Zaac, Will and Scott packed their bags and headed from the country to the coast for an intensive song–writing sojourn. They would spend the next five months in their new songwriting sanctuary in Coledale on Sydney’s south coast and when they emerged, they had the makings of their second album. After playing more than 120 shows on their first record, it’s no surprise that their live sound played a big role in how the band wrote their parts.                                                © News Corp Australia
Written by Chelsea Deeley
★Ξ★    The deep, stirring hum and pounding kick drum of Hallelujah pulse through my headphones and I can honestly say I’m pumped. Sitting on a packed out train in Sydney peak hour, I’m trying my darndest to do those subtle head–bobs and knee twitches that don’t disrupt my fellow sardined Sydney–siders.
★Ξ★    It’s an undoubtedly rousing impression to make for the first track off Hoops, the sophomore effort by Menangle’s golden sons The Rubens. A blood–pumping track that incites fist and arm flailing both in the mind and physically when the occasion calls for it.★Ξ★    A sudden halt and a twanging bass line melts into second track The Night Is On My Side, a slower more progressive track with witty lyrics concerning one–night–stands. A particular favourite being “She says she loves the moonlight / and the way it pulls the tide / but it’s just daylight in disguise”. Hoops is a slower groove, slightly understated and a little stagnant but it carries a catchy hook all the same.
★Ξ★    Bluesy treat Switchblade is reminiscent of the slower Jimi Hendrix moments, while fifth track Bitter End holds a more R&B feel with a subtle build up that explodes into a feast of frequencies.
★Ξ★    Venturing over the halfway point, Cut Me Loose is a more generic pop–like affair but holds a real distorted rock n roll feel to the guitar solo, which justifies its 3–minute lifespan. Things About To Change sounds more soul influenced with the pumping percussion and group vocals and yields a compelling sing–along essence.
★Ξ★    Another bluesy viber is Battles, the eighth track. Fuzzed out guitars and a swooning bass line, which descends soon into a chaotic sounding guitar breakdown. ★Ξ★     Hold Me Back is a piano led radio–friendly jam, which holds appropriate synth tones that accentuate the desperation of addiction in the lyrical subject.
★Ξ★    Leaving the final two tracks: The Original, with it’s trembling guitars and spitting lyrics, and album closer The Fool, with sweet harmonising vocals and a crunching bass line.
★Ξ★    Descriptions of this album as a “timeless record” can definitely be justified. All eleven tracks are thematically varied, and show the great range that they have within their own rock realm. But while it’s not an intricate, mountain–moving excursion, it will definitely satisfy those that wish for that ‘bluesy’/‘surfy’ rock gem that makes for great crowd fodder and rocking out mentally on a peak–hour train.
★Ξ★     http://musicfeeds.com.au/REVIEW
Daniel Prior, Score: ***
★Ξ★    Beneath the outpouring of praise for The Rubens’ self–titled debut album back in 2012, there was a quiet worry about where the strength of the band truly lay. ★Ξ★    For some, the album seemed little more than filler for their irresistible singles ‘My Gun’ and ‘Lay It Down’. Many have waited eagerly to see what the group would come out with next.   Three years later, The Rubens have finally answered with Hoops, a tight and immaculately produced album. But while production values are high and serious effort has clearly been invested into it, it still somehow feels inconclusive. ★Ξ★    More precisely, it feels as though, in their attempts to live up to the bar they set themselves, The Rubens have tried to do too much, resulting in songs that feel clunky and far too complicated for their own good, such as ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘Bitter End’. ★Ξ★    They do find their stride, begin to relax a little and enjoy themselves with tracks like ‘Hoops’ and ‘Switchblade’, but once again, it feels that in their pursuit for perfection, something has been missed.   This isn’t to insinuate that it’s a bad album — it’s a solid effort, but it’s too audibly conscious of what it needs to live up to.
★Ξ★     http://www.thebrag.com/Also:
by Jules LeFevre, Fri 7th Aug, 2015
★Ξ★     http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/reviews/music/43479/The-Rubens--Hoops
Kathy McCabe National Music Writer, News Corp Australia Network
★Ξ★     http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/music/the-rubens-reveal-the-stories-behind-new-record-hoops-and-how-they-keep-it-together-on-the-road/story-e6frfn29-1227472323986
Label: http://ivyleague.com.au/home
Website: http://therubensmusic.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/therubensmusic
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/therubensvideo
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/therubensmusic
Agent: ___________________________★Ξ★★Ξ★__________________________

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