THE RUBY TEARS
Liverpool / Manchester, United Kingdom
The 70s and 60s are back in this bitesize EP from The Ruby Tears, Shifting Sand. The EP features punchy sounds, melodies that hook you deep and choruses that are certified belt-able; I can imagine them powering from the mouth of a thousand-strong crowd. The Ruby Tears have taken inspiration from heroes of tone like Bowie and The Clash with instrumental cadences of 80s Post Punk and 70s rock. I for one hear a pinch of The Rolling Stones thrown in for good measure, and I’m elated.
‘Small Town Valentine’ hits our ears first, almost grungy in its feel with popping drums and warm bass tones, we are reminded that this is something special when the organ in the back comes out to play. A real toe-tapper, ‘Small Town Valentine’ shifts and bounces along a bluesy American rock rhythm with a chorus that will get your shoulders rocking. The vocal style hits like a clash of Alex Turner and Liam Gallagher with a gritty punch that reverberates through the song and clarity that means no lyric is lost to the rock. The blues ebbs and flows on the dunes as we move with Shifting Sand into ‘Broken Toy’.
The token sad song, ‘Broken Toy’ leaves nothing to chance. The instrumentals are sharp and the vocals lay out lyrics that melt against the heavier backdrop perfectly. The harmonies are clear and at some points, it feels like a duet, with the two vocal layers combining into one new rock vox sound. Add to this keys that layer up the back and a stellar rhythm section that holds the tone without getting boring and ‘Broken Toy’ is a surefire winner. Its darker, slower pattern gives images of Bruce Springsteen just off of a Nine Inch Nails binge, ripping into the studio with a chart-topper on the brain.
Lastly but by no means least, The Ruby Tears deliver, ‘Smash’ a high-energy rock-pop bop straight out of the 80s punk scene. You can hear those Clash influences and a vocal style that has shifted once again into the camp of David Bowie. The soft harmonies splash over us, experimental instrumentals fill the void and catch our attention at every dip and crest. The song is playful and has a chorus that won’t quit, building and building throughout, forming itself into an 80s rock wonder.
Shifting Sand is a brilliant addition to The Ruby Tears’ discography. Its tonal prowess is littered with bluesy riffs and funky rhythms that add so much to the album as a whole. I highly recommend Shifting Sand if you are a big fan of rock, post-punk, blues, organs and Bowie. With that list, I think that makes just about everyone a Ruby Tears fanatic.