Friday, October 21, 2022

The Ruby Tears Deliver a Cry from the Heart in their EP, 'Shifting Sand'

Brighton-rooted alt rock band, The Ruby Tears, blesses listeners with the 'Shifting Sand'. This is an EP that's raw, real, and reflective. These are three tracks that appeal to the very depths of the soul. It's all an all-encompassing journey of emotion, a movement between desire and disappointment. It's surf rock, pub rock, and power pop rock at its best.

It all started as an online writing collaboration between two of their four members. The band is a gem forged by the pressures and freedoms that came with the lockdown. 60s and 70s glam and rock, new wave and 80s post punk; it's all made The Ruby Tears what they are today. They've rallied up Jeff Skellon on guitar and John Goodfellow on vocals and guitar. Jimmy Sangster booms and rumbles on bass and Mark Robson delivers some serious blows on drums.

It all kicks off with 'Small Town Valentine', a number that's pacey and penetrating. It's a story of bittersweet yearning, a recounting of loss in love. One gets to put on some nostalgia goggles, with lines like "let me tell you / about a girl I used to know". While it starts out innocently, it does at some point take a bit of a dark turn. "So much to say about your twisted heart / as you crash the party and run away" proves that. 

With a more steady rhythm than 'Small Town Valentine', 'Broken Toy' is profound. It speaks to knowing oneself, owning one's history, and moving on after that. The vocalist says "did you think cause I'm a broken toy / I'd be falling for your stolen charms''. The infectious melody complements his dry, harsh tone on this one.

'Smash' is a jivey song with several switch-ups that keep things interesting. A happy-go-lucky voice evens out the chaotic theme, making for a groovy balance. John sings "when everything's about to crash / you look down and let it smash". The versatility in instrumentation makes this one truly special. It's simple, epic, and highly memorable.

The EP is short but rich, it's something one can dance and even reminisce to. In times of excitement and when feeling low, there's a song to match that mood. The quartet really went all out on it, from lyricism to instrumentation. Even those that aren't too keen on rock music will find that it grows on them. One can easily tell that time was taken to brew this EP to perfection.

The 'Shifting Sand' is as dynamic as the name suggests. It's a smorgasbord of feeling and energy.

Gavin Mndawe

@Gavin Zilani Mndawe

Image: 'Shifting Sand' Official EP Cover

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