In their own words, The Rubens are pushing out “blues tunes soaked in copious amounts of soul” and you can only agree that this is a pretty good summation of their sound that saw them reach 57 in Triple J’s Hottest 100 with ‘Lay it Down’.
This four piece from Menangle comprises the three Margin brothers (Zaac, Elliot, Sam) and friend Scott Baldwin and show shades of the Black Keys blues, mixed with their own unique blend of soul. This is particularly evident in their demo track ‘My Gun’.
‘My Gun’ has those Black Keys-esque beats, that are simply irresistible. The vocals wane and our very soulful, adding to the chilled nature of the track. Although the lyrics are a little simplistic and repetitive, ‘My Gun’ is so chilled that to be honest you don’t really mind. It is a track that really should have been included in Pulp Fiction, the backdrop to Vincent and Jules driving, its chilled, its cool, and its about guns. Its a perfect mix.
‘Cowboy Song’, shares the same element of coolness about it, but adds some catchy whistling, a bigger guitar presence and more complex drum patterns. Again the vocals wane in that amazing manner, and I have to say those Margin boys have the coolest soothing voices going around, I could listen to them all day.
‘Lay it Down’ rightly deserved its praise as it cleverly managed to recapture the early soul sounds of the 70s and 80s, a sound rarely heard these days. I think the rareness of soul, let alone of this quality is a large part of the appeal The Rubens offer. It is a track that you can just sway to, slow dance, have a beer to, it can be applied to a multiplicity of situations. I personally love it, the soft vocals, bluesy soft beats and in particular every chorus when “Its you-ooo” is sung in such an amazing manner.
Given their early success and the amazing sounds The Rubens are producing, I cannot wait for an album or EP to drop. Although apparently the guys are skipping the EP concept and heading straight to a full length album, which is a pretty cool idea and I guess if your demo makes it to Triple Js Hottest 100, your allowed to do. Regardless, it will be interesting to see how that works and most of all I hope its a short wait.