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Home > Magazine > Article Archive > News

Reviews: Rubber Side Down ~ American Romantic
Posted on Saturday, January 03, 2004 @ 16:46:35 UTC
Topic: Reviews

Artist: Rubber Side Down

CD: American Romantic (Independent Release)

Home: San Francisco, CA

Style: Alt Rock

Quote: "This is a smart, cohesive, professional rock band."

By Jennifer Layton

A lot of nice twists on this one. Rubber Side Down manages to take alt rock, a category that too many indie acts define as “playing guitar really loud,” and give it character. Every song is different. From track to track, we get alt rock songs flavored with early Brit punk, psychedelic kicks, grinding grooves, and yes, scorching guitar. But guitarist Joseph Bettencourt (who has since moved on and been replaced by Warren Caudle) isn’t just showing off. Tracks like “Slip Away” and “Hot Wheels A Go Go” prove that Bettencourt is flexing some impressive creative muscles.

He’s not the only one. This is a smart, cohesive, professional rock band. And they’ve got the right vocalist. Listening to Kevin Casey sing, you’d think Bono got restless, crashed a Matchbox 20 show, shoved Rob Thomas aside, and took over. It’s a rock radio-ready voice with an alluring rough edge.

The standout track is “Where Did You Go,” because I’m a sucker for a creative lyrical twist. I don’t know if songwriter Casey had this in mind, but it’s a gender reversal. A man finds himself in the traditionally female position of being dumped after a one-night stand. He then frets about and analyzes it like the opposite sex:

You might have told me that you don’t want to settle down,
that you had issues
things that I should know about.
I think I called you about a thousand times
You don’t answer the phone,
You’re never home...
Where’d you go? I’m not sure I wanna know...


Some tracks like “Rusted Chains” tend to go on a bit long. But it’s easy to forgive their tendency to get carried away sometimes. They just sound like they enjoy playing together so much. Their lives shows must be a lot of fun.

Buy CD http://www.rubbersidedowntheband.com












 
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