By Allyson Kingsley
Sometimes I take a little break from the extreme metal world to enjoy a little rock n’ roll. It’s the Fourth of July and to me, nothing is more American than some bluesy rock. Formed in 2001 and with several full-lengths and EPs under their belt, Rubikon is a brotherhood of 5 friends that magically concoct a brew of hard rock with a whole lot of balls. The musicians are Jae Sims (vocals), guitarists Josh Gruss and Dave Raymond, bassist Hugh Eston and drummer/vocalist Doug Arsham. Their upcoming release is The Record and follows 4 years later from Delta. (Give that one a listen as well). Also on the album are guest musicians Elisha Hoffman (Mandingo, banjo, guitar), Drew Belk (pedal steel) and Randy Leago (saxophone). Rubikon assembled at Sienna Studios in Nashville (formerly Quad Studios where they recorded Delta) and worked with engineer-mixer Tim Brennan (Steven Tyler, Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Gretchen Wilson). They have performed with Black Label Society, Disturbed, Damageplan, Sevendust, Shinedown, and Nonpoint.
As the fireworks in town are blazing off in the distance I was entranced by The Record. It has a heavy southern rock sound, to which I will compare to the likes of Every Mother’s Nightmare meets Black Stone Cherry. Immediately the first track “Broken Hearts” grips you fiercely with this earthy element. We continue with layers of bluesy gritty sounds on songs like “The Gun” and “Blood On My Hands”. “Burn Down the Farm” is a fun rocker and would probably equivocate the feeling of burning down churches in the black metal realm. The title track “The Record” is absolutely beautiful and has hints of a dark Johnny Cash kind of vibe. I even liked what I would consider a mournful ballad (minus the cheesiness) of “Money”; it is simple but it speaks volumes. So I shall finish off my night checking out their previous albums in celebration of America. Keep rockin.