Starting off a review with a definitive expectation
of what to come is somewhat difficult when you don’t know what you’re going to
write. This is due to having a million different things to say, but not really
an idea of how to say it. If you’ve met Bex then you’ll understand how “Ruby
Boots” has become such an industry name for excellent music in Perth. I sat
down with Bex to talk about the EP….and for someone that gives off such a
strong persona, the Ruby Boots lead singer seems to remain very grounded.
Ruby /roo-bee/ noun
A precious stone
consisting of corundum in various shades of red.
A hard kick.
reference to the definition of the two separate words constructing the band’s
name actually fits perfectly when coming up for an explanation to Bex and the
band itself (their sound, their persona, their stage presence...) they’re
beautiful, with significant meaning yet will literally kick you in the balls at
The first song Devil
fits this definition almost perfectly and is already a sign that this
outing is definitely a big step forward from their debut EP. It’s radio savvy,
it’s sing-along-able, it’s toe-tapping and just a generally great introduction
to a record.
Bex describes the EP
“At Last” as exactly what it is and why it was put together. Finally the band
is complete and it was time to release something that the whole line-up
represents. And that’s something that resonates fairly heavily throughout
Devil and the rest of the record.
The Second song “Baby”
is astonishing. It’s been a favourite of mine for a while.... at Live shows -
full band or solo and continues with what Boots does best, strong chorus hooks,
addictive melodies and smidgens of Linda Ronstadt creeping out here and there.
Third track on the
EP “Things” is a tumultuous bundle of fun. Reminiscent of a
barn-dance ho-down for the modern day lady and gentleman, it will have everyone
“Wise Up” is the fourth track and a
personal favourite. A combination of all the elements that make up Ruby Boots,
it really strengthens the second half of the 6 track EP and I think it speaks
Track 5 “Sweet
Time” is another rollercoaster of Ruby Boots goodness. The real
knee-slapper of the EP, it’s what they’re all about. At only 1.55 long, it
picks you up, throws you around and leaves you feeling warm inside!
Closing track “Small
City Blues” is one of those tracks that fits perfectly on those late nights
driving alone in the rain...a seamless finale to a great record. It starts off
with Joni Mitchell-esque character that builds and builds into a stunning
ballad that will have you pining for the record to reach its end just so you
can listen to this track again and again.
The real stand-out
for me with “At Last” is the bands obvious commitment and enjoyment of playing
on the record. The strong instrumental teamwork becomes more palpable on every
listen. Bex’s standout performance at the forefront is complimented perfectly
with the supports of the band…whether it’s Eliza Rogers’ backing vocals or
killer violin work, Jesse Woodward’s sterling banjo playing, Clay Smith’s
general instrumental wizardry or Tim Stacey’s effervescent basslines....all
tied in with Ashwin Subramaniums’ unfaltering drumming, it really does come
together at last.
So that’s the EP.
Ruby Boots should be
very proud with their efforts thus far and from all of us at Fat Shan Records
we wish them all the best!
Couple of questions
Generally in the
music industry, you have up’s and downs, play to hundreds, play to few. I asked
Bex if it’s a burden or a gift to have such a talent.
“I don’t care, because I write the song for me
hoping that other people will relate to it in some way because that’s kind of
how you develop an audience, but first and foremost I write it for me, I write
songs that I see the situations between people, the situations between other
people things that happen in life that are great, things that in life are really
shit, so I write things for me, so in terms of live performance it’s never a
burden if someone’s not listening but it’s a godsend if someone is. But I guess
in terms of being in a band and trying to make a career out of it then both, it
can be a burden because you love it so much and it can be a gift because you
just love it so much!”
I asked Bex about
the music, the industry and how she feels and she gave me this pretty straight
up, simple answer: “Sometimes it’s a headfuck and you ask yourself is this what
I’m doing? Is this what I’m really doing, but then you realise; there’s nothing
else you’d rather be doing”
Ruby Boots release their EP “At Last” at Amplifier Bar on Saturday the 8th
of October with support from The Panda Band and The Seals.