Heard It Yet?: Reuben – In Nothing We Trust

Reuben

Artist: Reuben
Album: In Nothing We Trust
Label: Hideous Records
Released: 2007

The first time I heard Reuben I decided there and then that I hated everything and anything about them. ‘Nobody Loves You Like I Do‘, my introduction to the trio from Aldershot, was one of the worst songs I’d ever heard – dull, insipid and with lyrics that almost caused me to crap out of my mouth in a Cartman-esque fashion.

But things have changed, and last year Reuben released an album deserving of all the attention it got, finally allowing them to leave their much publicised full time jubs down the local chippy. ‘In Nothing We Trust‘ is a grand opus of a rock album, which showed the band evolving their sound to a finely tuned collection of songs with a vast range of dynamicism and inspirations.

It all opens so peacefully, a gentle melody strummed upon a lonesome guitar. And then the feedback kicks in and Jamie Lenman lets out a bloodcurdling scream that tears apart the peacefulness of the introduction.

Things do not let up, and the momentum of the previous track carries on straight over to ‘We’re All Going Home In An Ambulance‘, which with it’s claustrobically heavy guitars and trashy smashy drums bounces from comedy to sheer outright fear, as Lenman jokes about a woman thinking he was Jewish – and then revealing that he “prayed to God she choked.”. For a band who used to write crappy love songs, you can imagine my surprise when suddenly I had a murderous man roaring at me from the second track on the album.

This is the absolute great thing about this album though, the fact that despite the heaviness, and the violent lyrics Lenman has penned, there remains a certain amount of poetry to the proceedings, as well as a heavy dose of the sense of humour that the band have, as the singalong chorus explodes into a cacphony a football stadium would be proud of, “We’re going home in a fucking ambulance!”

Reuben

Despite their jokey nature, best witnessed on their DVD, the band are capable of some really deep and insightful lyrics.

Suffocation of the Soul’ takes a similar route, slowly but steadily building up to an incredibly heavy chorus that has Lenman tearing his throat out as he screams “I’ve lost it.” . But the heavy parts never become a mainstay in the songs, a balance of heavy and light that keeps the tunes refeshing and enjoyable, and also goes to a massive length at heigtening the dramatics of the emotional choruses.

Things take a refrain from the heavy side of things with the next few tracks, including ‘Deadly Lethal Ninja Assassin’, which opens with guest vocalist Frank Turner having a joke with the band. It’s a light, airy tune that unsurpringly made single material, and it doesnt share the same sense of epic as the previous tracks, but chills things out.

Reuben pose

At the end of the day, Reuben are just three mates who enjoy having a laugh through music. A wonderful idea in prospect, and it’s one that is working for them.

The rest of the album kind of follows suite with this more laid back attitude. ‘Agony/Agatha’ opens with the kind of jumping pianos that Jools Holland would be jiggling along to, ‘Three Hail Marys’ encorporates a sinister computer drumloop, as Lenman sneers on top in a subtle way that exacerbates the explosion of the song near the end.

I suppose the reason I made this album a part of my Heard It Yet? section is because of the sheer enthusiasm and variety on offer here. Reuben are a band who have never had anything handed to them on a plate, and despite their talent, with Guy Davis‘ incredible drumming and Lenman‘s insightful and most of the time honest lyrics that still manage to retain a sense of humour despite the dark subject matter they tend to cover, the band are still working hard releasing albums on their own label and struggling to make a living off what they love doing the most. Despite being convinced that they were just another teenage hype band that I would never understand, this album proved to me that Reuben are growing up, and like a fine wine or a MILF (if that’s how you chose to live your life) they are getting better with age. Good luck to them and all.

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8 thoughts on “Heard It Yet?: Reuben – In Nothing We Trust”

  1. I always thought the art was familiar, it wasn’t until I realised it was the same guy who drew some of the Metal Gear comics that it clicked. The art is amazing, it all looks so…kind of epic but ridiculous at the same time, what with the robots. I almost thought they’d written a Metal Gear concept album!

  2. Nice review. By the way, Reuben used the Ash wood artwork for the two singles from the album ‘Deadly Lethal Ninja Assassin’ and ‘Blood Bunny Larkhall’. They were to release a third, but instead released a single called ‘Christmas Is Awesome’ and a final EP called twobythree (two tracks each by three bands) Which had ‘Cities On Fire’ as it’s lead track, but no wood artwork.

  3. i wonder if you listened to any of their old stuff asides from nobody loves you (there is no, ‘like i do’ in the title)? that song is actually nothing to go by when judging the band as that song completely strays away from their usual style. if you like INWT, which whilst is an amazing album, is also definately their worst release, you should listen to their other stuff. scared of the police, stuck in my throat, missing fingers, blamethrower, the list goes on… all absolutely epic stomach turning songs that are no where near matched by any tracks on INWT.

    …just sharing a bit of reuben love 😉 as they were, without doubt, amazing.

  4. Liz, it’s funny you should mention that. Since writing this review I picked up the rest of their albums and you’re right – Racecar is Racecar backwards is a stunning album, and the last track on their first album, Return of the Jedi, is phenomonal. It’s a shame I was so turned off by them based on that one song, but now the shame is that the band are no more :(.

  5. Did you listen to any more than one song from there previous albums? You talk about them as though they have chenged there style for the newest album.

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