ALBUM REVIEW: Rubberbear – The Other Side of the Fence

Manchester based Rubberbear have a new record out which compiles the best of their material in a short yet prolific existence.

Featuring Steve Trafford, formerly of The Fall and Tom Chapman of New Order, Rubberbear are easily one of the most interesting bands to emerge from Britain in the last few years for those who remember a time, before Britpop, when all was possible, but creativity was eventually doused by a plethora of middling guitar bands whose only ambition, it seemed, was to regurgitate tired Oasis riffs.

Trafford’s experiences of working with Mark E. Smith and Chapman’s involvement with New Order - the band which almost single handedly re-invented pop music in the ‘80s - mean that this is no such dull affair.

Their crisp sound reinvents the indie wheel, combining electronic music with understated guitar riffs and relentless basslines, interspersed with thought provoking lyrics which touch on a range of subjects from sordid tales of stalking and debauchery (My Addiction) to everyday battles with modern technology (World of Moderninity).

It’s a refreshing about turn from the mope focus of modern guitar bands.

Trafford’s vocals are understated and Chapman’s bass is always there, rumbling in the background and switching between bouncing Studio 54 lines and thunderous punk notes.

Best of the bunch, though, is Elements with its sparkling guitar, rolling bass and illuminating keys. Also worth a listen is Let's Move Somewhere Else, the band’s beautifully addictive first single.

Rubberbear’s is a very modern sound that has its roots in indie, electronica and disco but doesn’t entirely commit to any of them. It holds its head above the parapet and soaks up anything that comes its way from opposing sides.

If only other indie acts would take note.


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