CD Reviews: November 17

  > The Rubens.
The Rubens.
Ivy League Records.

Australian quartet the Rubens have drawn comparisons to the Kings of Leon for their crushed-soul sound but the more glaring influences are Black Keys and Coldplay, the former's signature disintegrating guitar and vocal sound being most obviously filched in Lay It Down and the latter's grandiose gestures emulated on Be Gone. Falling somewhere in the angst-pop ground that separates these two popular music giants, the Rubens haven't got the songs to match it with the big boys. Not yet anyway. They're big across the Ditch, though.

Single download: My Gun

For those who like: Coldplay, Kings of Leon

-Jeff Harford



  > Walk the Moon.
Walk the Moon.
RCA.

The second album from Ohio power-poppers Walk the Moon bulges with supremely polished pop nuggets, each seemingly written with an array of TV opening credits in mind. Snappy guitars and breezy harmonies are buttressed by peppy synth flourishes as the likes of Tightrope and Shiver, Shiver scuttle by amiably on their way to soaring, undeniable choruses.

Yet this is a band drowning in a sea of hormones ("My eyes are on the road/ and my mind is on your body"), whose hackneyed car/relationship metaphors ("won't you stay shotgun till the day I die.") ultimately reveal a dearth of lyrical inspiration.

Single download: Tightrope
For those who like: Weezer, Panic! At the Disco
-John Hayden



  > Tame Impala.
Lonerism.
Modular Recordings.

In 2010, Tame Impala released its debut offering that may well have arrived via a time capsule from the early '70s. Two years later, the writing may have matured, but the clock has been dialled back to the late '60s.

Firmly rooted in an analogue homage to the trippy sounds of '67's summer of love, the Perth band reverentially paints a dreamy kaleidoscope with tape manipulation, out-of-phase vocals and plenty of moog wig-outs. Written primarily by multi-instrumentalist Kevin Parker in his home studio, Lonerism is awash with Parker's lush Lennon-esque melodies, but is supplanted with more experimental synth sounds.

Single download: Elephant
For those who like:
Sid Barrett, Hawkwind, Electric Prunes, 13th Floor Elevators
-Mark Orton