The Chris Ruben Band recently dropped their brand-new LP, Madness on Repeat, a collection of songs about feeling out of control amid the chaotic churning of life.
Explaining, the band says, “‘Madness on Repeat’ is a reflection of the unforgiving turbulence of life on life’s terms. Just when you think it’s going to let up, it doesn’t.”
Made up of Chris Ruben (guitar, vocals), Nick Marino (guitar), Brendan Allen (bass), Russ Benjamin (drums), Frank Iovine (keyboards, sax), and Eugene Iovine (keyboards), The Chris Ruben Band’s sound drips with funk, indie-rock, alternative, blues, and psychedelic savors.
Encompassing 11-tracks. Madness on Repeat begins with “Unsure,” rolling out on a funked-out rhythm driven by a slapping bassline. When the music ramps up on the chorus, the tune adds heady layers of alt-rock and psychedelic flavors. Chris’s delicious voice gives the lyrics tight tones of urgency.
Entry points include “Live Meltdown,” traveling on incandescent guitars, blazing with luminous, sizzling colors as Chris’ strident yet contagious falsetto infuses the lyrics with captivating, searing coloration. Whereas “Darling” blends alt-rock, funky, and alt-pop flavors into a tasty, infectious tune about the thrill of love. I love the lustrous whistling whirr effect, imbuing the harmonics with ebullience.
“Starfish,” a track vaguely reminiscent of Hootie and the Blowfish, amalgamates cool R&B textures with alt-rock dynamics into a muscular, shimmering tune both bewitchingly creamy and brawny. “Tell Me Why” pushes out pure, fat funk washes of energy, while “Stomach Coil” surges with potent layers of funk, R&B, and alt-rock topped by Chris’s slightly rasping, yet oh so yummy voice.
“Give It UP” opens on growling, dirty guitars riding rumbling percussion. Dark and bluesy, this song delivers funky alt-rock elusively reminiscent of Buck Cherry – murky, powerful, and strutting. The last track on the album, “Hernia,” features low-slung, smooth, gleaming rinses of softer alt-rock, showing another fact of The Chris Ruben Band – irresistible melodicism and charismatic vocals.
The Chris Ruben Band has it going on, pumping out viscous funk flavors melded with intoxicating alt-rock, and swashbuckling R&B. This is an excellent album.