There’s prolly some longwinded story as to how I got involved with some band called Rebus I think it has something to do with the guitarist, Napster and The Cooper Temple Clause (two of them went to school with them, played in the same band, something along those lines) but whatever the reason, or whatever little anecdote that lies behind, the truth of the matter is, this Reading based band… well they’re practically family now!!!
Rebus had recorded a couple of songs prior to this: The Music Room EP, notably the MP3 ‘Venus Flytrap’- which not only circled around Napster, but also did the rounds on the BT MP3 site. As a band clear influences are hard to distinguish, mainly because there are so many. From mod-rock to dad-rock through to ‘whingey indie’ this demo represents a well-rounded stylised sound. In almost true demo style the quality of recording maybe slightly muffled, the vocals may veer off key and the drummer may drop a beat… but that’s the point isn’t it? I mean demos they’re not meant to be perfect. They present this raw, intimate, almost down to earth sound, and it’s fair to say Rebus convey and articulate this feature incredibly well through out.
‘Out on the town (…again)’** starts with a folk/country esque harmonica before descending into lazy, summery guitar riffs. Upbeat piano chords hold together the easy, laid-back, almost, dare I say it ‘jazz’ related musical back grounding. The vocals are understated yet complimentary through out. The track comes complete with it’s own reprise! Changing pace, tone and tempo for an instant before clicking back to a more recognizable and familiar structure.
‘(You are my favourite) Painkiller’** opens with striking guitar riffs before the familiar vocals kick in. The stand out feature in this track has to be the backing vocals that harmonise and perfectly compliment the lower tone adopted by the lead singer. The song remains vocally busy right up until the sharp, clean and certainly crisp ending bars.
To be honest the vocals in ‘Ecstacy’ do not always strike a chord with me, but the music certainly does. Any discrepancies on vocal tone and key are fully than compensated by the more, lets say *musical* areas the song possesses. Greater attention seems to have been played to a whole host of background noises, all used to great effect through out especially during the latter stages.
‘Manhattan house’ slowly fades in, presenting the listener with a sly sounding guitar riff laid over undulating percussion. A steady rhythm and guitar pattern during the verses contrasts to the louder more chaotic chorus. The addition of, if anything, slightly stronger backing vocals included at certain intervals only enhances the overall tone and sound of the track.
As far as demos go this one - it’s not bad, especially when you consider the fact it was recorded in a single day! Certainly not a bad days work but all accounts. There are a few ‘woolly’ areas that need to be touched up a bit, but with a slice of imagination on the listeners behalf it’s not hard to see why this band are sitting pretty at the top of the MP3 download charts!
Not a bad effort by any means!
7Vic Bird's Score