The Pilot E.P. is absolutely, undoubtedly, immeasurably, one of the best debut releases I’ve ever heard! From the opening note of the delicious introduction to Reuben, ‘Alpha Signal Seven’ to the final heart rendering piano chord of hidden track, ‘Shambles’ you just want to wrap your arms around this band and feel the electricity surging through its veins. Heavy sleazy bass riffs together with a series of drum patterns that kick harder than a small child in a bag full of kittens combine with awesome guitar powered distortion of the kind that perhaps not even the god that is Chino Marino would be worthy of himself.
‘Alpha signal seven’ is Reuben’s wake up call to absolutely anyone out there in suburbia who still thinks that no one is impassioned about the music they make. Reuben care. Reuben are rock and roll. Beautiful vocal melodies add further bite to the crunching guitar packed craziness of this opener that, when it kicks it dirty little feet into the ground, makes you realise Reuben could be something so great – so wonderful - that they might just make it..
‘Word’s from Reuben’ the eponymous song title Reuben chose their name from after dumping the moniker ‘Angel’, bites and lashes like the beast of a song that it is. The passion is profound - verses of irate, buzzing guitar followed epically by flowing, thriving choruses where Reuben soar like Mary Poppins caught in the slipstream of a British Airways jumbo jet…on acid! Reuben draw you up into them, inside their sounds, into their collective body and may never let you leave, but why try, you wouldn’t want to any way!
You instinctively know when you’re falling in love with a band when that feeling of utter helplessness, numbness and raw emotion encapsulate everything to bring you those few seconds of pure pleasure - personal magic. One half of the way through listening to ‘Crimson’, I was overcome by the religious experience that is (not) commonly known as a Reuben induced musical orgasm! The lush mixture or mellow vocal harmony with caustic guitar, dirty thumping bass and a cacophony of fluid, pounding beats shows Reuben at what I see as their very best. Sounding more proficient than some of the major players in rock, it amazes me how Reuben remain in their relative infancy and yet musically behave so professionally. With their ‘phat’ pulsating chords this young band could be mistaken for another nuuuu-metal trio but I think they are worth so much more. Reminiscent of Silverchair or early Nirvana with added precision and a more intense sound Reuben surge like a thriving, throbbing, lunging mass of effervescing rock and roll. On to track four…
‘Death of a star’ is a popier affair with bouncing bass lines, rhythmic guitar parts and suitably alternating thumping drums. This song could widen Reuben’s appeal but for me it doesn’t shine with the individuality of other offerings. Friendly, comforting and easy to listen to but unfortunately not as soul evoking as others.
Reuben end in a deviously hidden but enchanting ‘Shambles’ capturing the band’s thoughtful, charming side. Haunting piano chords drift into the distance as Reuben fade out magically, in complete contrast to their spellbinding, action packed intro.
10Ed***d Mellett's Score