Australian alt-rockers The Rubens have just released their kick ass sophomore album Hoops, the follow up to their platinum selling self-titled debut. It had one hell of a reputation to live up to, and it’s done just that.
Strong from beginning to end, Hoops is basically 11 tracks thrust together that work steadily as a collection while simultaneously maintaining their own identity. Containing some clear experimentation with vocals and unique sounds, this quintet isn’t shy about pushing the limits. Emotion shines through as both the lead and backing vocals combine to bring the lyrics to life. Even the more repetitive lyricism seems to bring forth a fetching spirit that will hook and nestle into your brain. Overall, there’s a depth to the lyrics that, although dismal at times, are inspiring. Those three years since their last album were obviously well spent.
Released as the first single in 2015, ‘Hallelujah’ is the perfect introduction to Hoops, getting the ball rolling with an infectious rhythm, ending delightfully abruptly allowing a transition into even more captivating vibrations. Second track ‘Hoops’ is a hint more groovy and mellow, with the lyrics really standing out against the more laid back vibe. Things also seem to slow down during other tracks such as ‘Switchblade’ and ‘Bitter End,’ but they’re all speckled with surprising bursts of energy that ultimately morph into more up-tempo gems. ‘Hold Me Back,’ leads in with friendly keyboards and is ultimately more upbeat than some of its counterparts.
By the time the last track rolls around, it’s almost a pity that Hoops must come to an end. ‘The Fool’ has a grittier feel, yet makes for a satisfying closing track.
Filled with emotion and passion, Hoops will either inspire goose bumps or get your blood pumping.
Hoops is available now via Ivy League Records.