A tasty appetizer before 2014’s main course.Communion, 2013
7.6 / 10
Comprised of seven members, the vast array of sounds present on Rubblebucket’s new EP Save Charlie shouldn’t be surprise. Any time a band boasts such a workforce, I’m expecting lots of instruments, and I don’t mean somebody hitting a cowbell. Thankfully, Rubblebucket don’t go the cowbell route; instead, they populate their songs with funk guitar, brass horns, and bombastic synthesizer wallops that will shake your body into a trembling dance rhythm. Save Charlie follows the band’s 2011 LP Omega La La and is the predecessor for their 2014 follow-up full-length. So what are listeners getting with this new appetizer — three new originals (including the title track), a cover of The Doobie Brothers’ “What a Fool Believes”, and three remixes. Is it worth shelling out the bucks to essentially buy two songs that will appear on 2014’s release and a few rarities?
Normally, I’d answer ‘no’ to that question, but with Save Charlie, it pummels many full-length albums released by Rubblebucket’s indie pop contemporaries this year. Even the remixes are noteworthy and explore the scenario of someone giving the Roadrunner crank. Rubblebucket’s take on The Doobie Brothers’ “What A Fool Believes” is quite fantastic. The band infuses the song with a modern electro-jazz and disco excitability that makes the original song sound like phenomenal source material (I’m not a fan of the original in case you were wondering). Annakalmia Traver’s singing is exceptional — full of emotion and charisma — and really catches the ear on songs that would fall apart under the helm of others. The EP’s notable standout is the title track, featuring wobbly synths and an upbeat arrangement that captures the ecstatic feeling of being in love and how paranoid and crazy it can make you feel at times. I’m feeling the same way about Rubblebucket after listening to this EP.