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rubyhorse – Rise

Produced by Jay Joyce

After years of sleeping on floors and gigging tirelessly (and maybe more than that) all around their adopted home of Boston, Ireland’s latest “overnight sensation” has finally gotten around to releasing their long-awaited, perhaps already legendary major debut. Having allegedly scrapped an entire album’s worth of material and recorded with the late George Harrison, rubyhorse (sic) already had a great deal of buzz behind them. Fortunately, Rise lives up to the hype. Front man Dave Farrell combines elements of Bono and Matthews with an almost Plant-y presence. The rest of the band moves easily from rhythmic pulses to rocking rages, incorporating U2 flights and Beatle crawls. Combining the anthemic (“Sparkle,” “Into the Lavender”) with the athletic (“Evergreen”) and the aggressive (“Bitter”) with the affecting (“Any Day Now,” “Live Through This,” “The First of the Year”) and adding the androgynous android arcs of “Teenage Distraction,” rubyhorse gives listeners plenty to wrap their ears around. And while this album may not live up to their floor-shaking live shows, it easily surpasses a great deal of today’s radio fodder.

- Matthew S. Robinson
c. 2002, M. S. Robinson, ARR


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