Review: The Chris Ruben Band – Take The Ride EP

When flicking through the stacks of albums that a record shop has to offer, you cannot deny the most eye-catching ones are the colourfully trippy representations of the acid-induced journeys that famously took off in the 60s and 70s. And you expect nothing less from the music inside. Enter The Chris Ruben Band.

This psych-rock 6-piece have come back with a vengeance with their new EP, Take The Ride. Following their 2021 debut album Madness On Repeat, this collection of four tracks takes all the strengths of their album and develops it into another catchy and funky 15 minutes of tunes.

The EP starts off with the title track “Take The Ride”. The undeniably funky guitars, which are reminiscent of some early noughties indie classics in their style, instantly pique interest and lend themselves to a comparison with Jet, Hives, or The Frantellis. This is accompanied by some spacey synths and then captivating vocals.

It’s safe to say that this band would fit right into a playlist of Indie Club Night tunes, not only going undetected, but filling the floor with more dancing feet and zero inhibitions. There are also some very psychedelic elements as well, this song a precursor to what to expect from the EP. It’s safe to say they chose a strong introduction to kick things off.

Following this is “Held So Tight”, where the funkiness of the guitar and bass really come into their own. It’s hard to put your finger on what’s so intoxicating about the band. There’s something so modern and yet like such a blast from the past simultaneously, and in the best possible way.

This track starts a little more low-key, proving they know when to pull it back. This is not to say that the song is in any way weak, and if anything is a testament to the punchy guitar riffs that punctuate the whole EP. The solo alone (the second of four on the EP, one for each song of course) demonstrates how they clearly considered every tonal shift whilst sounding like they are jamming out in a studio and having a laugh doing it.

The single “Tell Me You Love Me” is the next one to grace your ears. If you can’t tell already, this one is a personal favourite. The very psych-inspired guitars make their anticipated appearance again and the song creates another great tonal shift for the project, picking up the pace once again to full on Chris Ruben Band punch. The chorus is the stand out part, the hook super catchy (warning: it will get stuck in your head). It is very clear why this was selected as the single for the EP.

The collection finishes up with the track “What I Need”. To avoid repeating phrases, just know that this track maintains the same standard as the rest of the EP. It, like the whole body of work, has all the appeal of unpolished garage with none of the potential preconceptions of amateurism that can sometimes accompany it. The harmonies, not just in this last song but through the whole album, give yet another layer of trippy-ness. The album art compliments every sonic choice, and they have no doubt made more people wait with bated breath for what they pull out the bag next.

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