The Rubens are the kind of band your Tinder date says they “quite like” when they clearly aren’t into music, least of all guitar music.
After slaying the Triple J Hottest 100 in 2015 the first Rubens tune in a few years is a baffling listen. The first thing that strikes you is it doesn’t even sound like a band. It’s as if the label got together with the Sydney group and said “right boys, we’ve decided upon your new direction” – and that direction, dear readers, is as the Male Meg Mac Quintet.
Recorded with Run The Jewels collaborators Wilder Zoby and Lil’ Shalimarhere and lifted from an as yet unnamed third album due 2018, there’s a few nice flourishes – like the textbook harmonies adorning the “everyday” motif – but the simple truth is there’s a million other songs out there like this.
The vocal has slid into beige, transatlantic R’n’B elocution. Sounds like they’re from Cincinnati, not Sydney. And the production is so slick there’s simply no character in the arrangement and instrumentation. You cant dance to it either. But who knows, given the right amount of airplay the truth is that it will likely float a lot of boats.