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Rubicks – The Rise of The Giddy

Rubicks, The Rise of The Giddy

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

RUBICKS successfully combine high brow lyricism with the continuing evolution of their new wave electro-pop sound on sophomore LP The Rise of the Giddy.

Arriving somewhat belatedly in the wake of 2006’s critically acclaimed debut In Miniature, this second album combines elements of Siouxsie & The Banshees and Ladytron with Bjork and even Lykke Li to mostly take notice effect.

Lyrically, meanwhile, it aims to explore the highs and lows achieved by developments and concepts in the modern world that are rapidly replacing the idea of ‘God’. Hence, the Giddy in the album’s title is designed to reflect the ancient word for God.

As high brow as that seems, though, the ideology is still relayed in familiar themes of sex, love, experiences of death and drugs, money and consumerism.

Fronted by Vanessa Anne Redd and featuring Marc Makarov (bass), Anthony Johns (drums) and Vee Vimolmal (synths/MPC2000), the sound is both futuristic and ethereal with nods to some of the acts who have influenced them (from Gary Numan to Debbie Harry).

Proceedings get off to a strong start with former single Is This Love?, a wonderful juxtaposition of emotions set amid chugging electronics, scatter-gun beats and moody vocals.

The song captures the feeling of being in love with someone who is about to die and its impact on the levels and perception of love. But rather than being sombre and brooding, it takes an upbeat and epic musical approach via dramatic builds, relentless keys, colourful strings and a pulsing bass.

Two songs later and album highlight Black And Blue drops an edgy cinematic feel that dances along in playful fashion amid a stop-start electronic pulse and some propulsive beats. It’s great fun with a vaguely dangerous side.

Surrender, meanwhile, sets forth with a more straight forward rock vibe (akin to The Pixies), before Redd purrs and whines in ethereal fashion about taking pictures in her sleep and surrendering.

Further notable moments come in the form of the haunting, strings-backed Glory of the Fall and the creepy synth-pop of Worship, which forewarns ‘you can’t take it with you when you’re dead and gone’ over a tale of consumerism and hoarding. It’s the sound of the band at their most Ladytron-esque but it’s also exciting to hear.

Wonderland, meanwhile, brings the album to a close with warped synths and boy-girl harmonies, as Redd almost speak-sings her way into an emphatic chorus and an equally emphatic finish.

The Rise of The Giddy won’t be to everyone’s tastes and only really flirts with mainstream cred. But it does get into your head and seduces with its edgy energy and darker elements.

Download picks: Is This Love?, Black and Blue, Surrender, Worship, Glory of the Fall, Wonderland

Track listing:

  1. Is This Love?
  2. Giddy Up
  3. Black And Blue
  4. Surrender
  5. Wasted
  6. Where You At
  7. Intermezzo
  8. Glory of the Fall
  9. Worship
  10. Blackout
  11. Jungle of You
  12. Wonderland