Indie rockers The Rubens have returned to our ears with their sophomore album Hoops after the long wait since their debut self-titled album in 2012. The five piece hailing from Menangle NSW have proved to the music scene that they aren’t just country boys with their debut reaching triple platinum. The Ruben boys have been tearing up the festival circuits, selling out tours and have now released the much-awaited record. The second time around the band have taken their signature sound and used it to tackle relationships, they’re giving us the good, the bad and the heavy issues. It’s an incredibly lyrically relatable record backed by infectious guitar riffs and striking drumbeats that’ll leave you dancing and singing along.
Starting off Hoops is Hallelujah, which also happens to be the leading single the band released back in May. The track is extremely catchy with plenty of upbeat riffs and serves as a bit of a parody on religion and how it has become somewhat of a commodity. While the lyrics do have a deeper meaning it’s crafted in such a repetitious way that it’s an absolute belter, just try and not sing along!
A major theme for this record is negative feelings that are inspired by draining relationships and these songs give Hoops an edge, they’re dealing with the nitty gritty in such an appealing way. Tracks like Hoops, Switchblade, Bitter End, Cut Me Loose, Battles and Hold Me Back all deal with some quite serious subjects, with all of them stemming back to being hurt by someone (or something) that you once loved. These tracks are all musically consistent with their alternative rock sound while holding on to powerful, truth filled lyrics that help the songs to flow nicely after one another; it’s the darker side to the record. The next song is Battles, which is a beautifully haunting track that is highly memorable. It just sticks with you, and it’s all about the scars that distrust and love lost can leave you with. From Zaac Margin’s lingering guitar solo to vocalist Sam Margin’s soulful, voice that conveys true real pain, it just leaves you wanting more. And more is what we get; track 9 Hold Me Back details a bitter struggle with addiction, it’s set behind a funky beat but don’t let that fool you.
To round off the album we have a love song of sorts The Original which is a take on something that’s been done too many times to count. The song is a refreshing track full of subtle drumbeats that backs everything nicely; it’s a sweet little number that reminds us all that we’re originals. Finally we’re left with The Fool, which also plays on the note of a love song; it’s a fun go of a ballad all about being a fool in love. After dealing with all that pain we get to end the album on a happier note, which is a beautiful metaphor for life; we all have or dark days but we can get through them. Overall The Rubens Hoops is a finely crafted vessel that takes us on a journey through the often-dark tunnel of life and keeps you dancing the whole way until you reach the light. Say Hallelujah because Hoops was well worth the wait.