I’m having a hard time concentrating on work right now. Maybe it’s the excitement of going to a show tonight that I know nothing about or maybe it’s the anticipation of the expected first snow overnight, regardless, I just can’t seem to concentrate on anything so now is as good of a time as any to check out a quick EP. This one is coming in hot from Los Angeles-based Rubber LeBaron!
‘The Bug Bite EP’ kicks off with the title track, “Bug Bite”. I was instantly struck by the creativity in this track. From the beat to the instrumentation to the vocals– everything about this opening track had me intrigued. The composition of this track is all over the place in the best way possible. Starting with a powerful drum-based sound before shifting to something almost whimsical and then switching back to the powerful vibe from the beginning of the track, I was just so in love with Rubber LeBaron before the first song was even over. There’s a sense of abstract patterns throughout this opener that will catch you and light a fire in your soul while the vocals have an almost reggae tone to them that help bring a sense of calm at the same time. Again, a bit all over the place but I am absolutely here for it and am excited to see what the other four tracks bring to the table.
“Lunar Bowls” is definitely a bit more subdued than “Bug Bite” while still having the same amount of energy and passion. Slow and steady and with more of a classic beat and composition, I instantly fell head over heels for the beauty in this track. Although the vocals in the opening track were absolutely gorgeous, something about them really stands out in “Lunar Bowls”. They are silky smooth and come drenched in emotion while having a high sense of energy. I’ll be honest, I didn’t think I was in the mood for such a slow and steady track but the way Rubber LeBron is able to give this track an endless sense of power has me sold. Parts of this track remind me a little bit of Incubus just with the overall style but I feel like even that’s a stretch. Rubber LeBaron blends different genres like it’s their job and they do it so well. The track comes to a point about halfway through that is so powerful, so anthemic, it seriously had my jaw on my desk before it fell back to the patient beat laid out at the beginning of the song. This happens again towards the end of the track making it fly by faster than the nearly five minutes that it actually lasts.
The tender vocals felt throughout “Lunar Bowls” are again put in the spotlight in “Someone or Something”. With a little bit of a southern flair, I just could not get enough of the passion and grit felt with each word. Again, although I didn’t think I was in the mood for a more subdued sound like this, “Someone or Something” hit the spot absolutely perfectly and I found myself swaying along to the infectious albeit sauntering beat before being jolted out of my bliss when the song really ramped up. The southern swagger is strong in this track and so is the power making this my favorite track on this EP. I adore the way that Rubber LeBaron are able to have so much going on instrumentally while making sure that every word of every line is heard loud and clear. As a lyrics lady, I truly appreciated this, and hearing the amazing songwriting of this track was just the icing on the cake.
“Oh Liliana” closes out this quick EP continuing to dive into a sound that can only be described as Rubber LeBaron. The longest track on this album at over five minutes long, I was quite surprised when it felt like it was over in the blink of an eye. Again, the composition of this track is a bit all over the place. Although it starts off fairly slow and somber, it doesn’t take long for screaming guitars to come in and take this track off to a beautiful place. Although “Someone or Something” would have been a perfect ending to this EP for me just due to the amount of swagger it left in my soul, I loved how “Oh Liliana” seemed to tie up some loose ends and left me completely satisfied as the track stopped playing and left me in the silence of my house.
There’s something about Rubber LeBaron that is both easy to listen to but also absolutely catches your ear. They truly have a sound and vibe all of their own and have perfected it. This may be my first time listening to this band but it surely won’t be my last!
My Favorite Track(s): “Someone or Something”
For Fans Of: Undeniable Power; Anthemic Vibes; Layers Upon Layers
Mosh-ability: 4 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie laid right next to my desk; Autumn kept jumping from my couch to my desk so blame any typos on her
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 7.8 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 7.9 out of 10
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