Portland's own Rubble are back with 10 tracks of catchy & driving anarcho peace punk delivered with Urgency!
Our take: Much anticipated debut 12” from this Portland punk band. Their previous single on Distort Reality was one of my favorites of 2017 and I was eager to see if they could keep the magic going on a big slab of vinyl. Well, I think they have! That last single hinted that Rubble are more than your typical UK82 homage, and the 12” confirms it. The style here ranges from amped-up pogo punk a la Sad Boys to bruising, Partisans-esque UK82 to anthemic oi! to dark, atmospheric anarcho punk. Rubble excel at all of these styles (particularly the fast UK82 stuff… “Blue Lives” and “U.N.I.C.O.R.” are up there with Savageheads for top-notch Partisans worship), but it’s the weirder and/or more melodic parts I love the most. If you liked “Gaslighting” from the previous 7”, then “Eat the Rich” will be a highlight. “Missing Stair” (my favorite track) shows that the guitarist can throw out leads just as catchy as any of the vocal melodies, and the haunting, anarcho-style spoken-word breakdown is a great way to end the side. Like I said, the more mid-paced and melodic tracks are my favorite, but Rubble’s strong sense of song craft and arrangement are on point throughout. Rubble have a new bass player on this record, and his nimble playing is one of the record’s highlights. I also want to mention the lyrics, which are very strong. They’re blunt, avoiding metaphor and tackling contemporary topics like abusers in the scene, “blue lives matter,” and wealth inequality. That might sound like a list of trending Twitter topics, but Rubble’s lyrics neither toe the punk party line nor parrot information from other media. The lyrics strike me as one person’s honest, impassioned response to what’s happening in the world right now. Indeed, Rubble is a punk band for right now, and while they’re steeped in the past they don’t seem interested in rehashing it.