Friday, January 25, 2019

Chris Ruben Band - Stomach Coil


The production of the Chris Ruben Band’s new single “Stomach Coil” helps an already great song stand out even more. The upstate New York based act has made their mark on the Big Apple live music scene in short order and their debut EP, Fortune Favors the Bold, announced their arrival as more than just talented players – the band boasts first class songwriting as well. Their latest single “Stomach Coil” shows off their continuing evolution as songwriters with a fully realized effort that checks off all the boxes – Ruben’s guitar playing veers from the understated to unabashed fire while the rhythm section of bassist Brendan Allan and drummer Russ Benjamin provide the track with a fluid, yet precise, foundation everything else builds from. It’s a relatively brief song, running over just three minutes long, but listeners will never feel cheated.

Ruben’s vocals may be the most underrated part of the band’s package. He has the ability to unwind light, melodic lyrical passages while still being able to bring emotional grit to the song’s stormier passages. He’s an attentive vocalist – it’s very satisfying to hear how his voice responds to the song’s various upswings and downturns of intensity, yet it all comes together in a coherent way. He, likewise, brings just the right amount of velocity to his vocal – the raucous parts get his full throated passion while the aforementioned lighter sections show his deft touch. His guitar work is tuned to the same wavelength and there’s a logical progression to how the guitar transforms in character throughout the course of the track.

He’s accompanied by a stellar band. The aforementioned rhythm section of Allan and Benjamin pop from the first but show off the same discernment we hear from Ruben’s own guitar work. Benjamin, in particular, steers the song through its rock/funk sections into the slower and more melodic parts without ever losing the thread. It is completely grounded in a live sound providing an interesting contrast with the light sound manipulations stretching and coloring Ruben’s guitar sound, but these post production effects are felt with his vocal as well. These effects, however, never dilute or obscure the instrumental or vocal impact of the band.

“Stomach Coil” represents the next logical and compelling step into the future for The Chris Ruben Band’s songwriting. It’s a well constructed and thought out track with something for everyone and doesn’t sport any identifiable influences – Ruben and his band mates avoid imitation and self indulgence alike while still delivering a recognizable slice of rock/funk that lingers in your memory long after the final note fades. If we can consider this song a harbinger of the band’s future work, the Chris Ruben Band continues proving that fortune does, indeed, favor the bold. “Stomach Coil” is a cracking musical trip that carries you away from the first and you’ll wish there was more by the time the song concludes. You can definitely hear the band’s live chops burning through, but the band is far more than just a stage act.


Scottie Carlito

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