RUBYCONE — Pictures of Susceptible Housewives (review)

RUBYCONE — Pictures of Susceptible Housewives album cover Album · 2009 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
The music we hear from the Republic of Moldova in the Western world is admittedly quite scarce if practically non-existent but in the modern world where we are all connected, while most of us haven’t even heard of this Romanian speaking nation that was once the wine growing region of the former Soviet Union, the people there are quite in tune with what has been happening in the West ever since and music is defiantly no exception. Emerging from the capital city of Chisinau, the quartet of musicians collectively known as RUBYCONE took their name from the river in Italy which was crossed by Julius Caesar, a term which has since been popularized to mean the ultimate boundary. It is quite the case that RUBYCONE took this name because they do indeed transcend unique brackish crossroads of music. In this case the world of progressive metal and post-rock.

RUBYCONE still exists and has unleashed a few released as recently as 2017’s EP “Old Northern Whale” but it all began back in 2009 with the band’s debut PICTURES FOR SUSCEPTIBLE HOUSEWIVES which dons a rather hilarious 50s black and white album cover with the jocular hilarity of Frank Zappa, however the music is quite a serious affair and the team that consists of Roma "Romones" (guitar), Nikita "Primus man"(drums), Stas "VStas"(bass) and Stas “Norfeus"(guitar) conjure up a veritable smorgasbord of “Red” era King Crimson mixed with heavier elements of modern progressive metal all mixed up with the post-rock sensibilities of Mogwai, Godspeed! You Black Emperor and the more metallic approaches of Isis. The result is quite the pleasant blend of instrumental prowess all teased into smoothly flowing celebration of 11 tracks that rock the house and hypnotize the mouse. Bitchin’ cool.

A few things make this album unique. Firstly, it’s from Moldova! OK, Moldovans may not agree but hey, i’m in the Bay Area in California, so sorry to say that Chisinau is not exactly on my radar on a daily basis! Secondly, this is a unique mix of elements. The aforementioned King Crimson from the 70s mixes with effortlessly with the more aggressive djent leanings of modern bands like Animals With Leaders as well as the post-rock / metal hypnotism of bands like Isis and Mogwai. While not as cerebral as Godspeed!, the field samplings of vocals and other sounds do indeed bring that band to mind in that department. While not creating an entirely new paradigm of musical experience, RUBYCONE nonetheless found an interesting way to take certain influences and putting them on the work table to create a totally new beast and one that is a captivating listen from beginning to end.

Other than the field samples of vocals this is completely an instrumental experience however certain guitar parts were specifically used to mimic a vocalist’s melodic dominance but only in certain segments which also adds to the mystique as the band sort of morphs into different phases without abrupt changes. While the music can be soft, placid and even surreal, it can also burst into super heavy bombast with virtuosic guitar solos whizzing by at a million miles per second but usually this floats along at a mid-tempo range and nothing gets too OMG-mommy-i-wanna-hide-under-the-table-ish. Comparisons, hmmm. On the metal side defiantly Isis or Pelican. On the post-rock side Mogwai, Explosions In The Sky, Tortoise. Surprisingly this band eschews any local folk influences and there is absolutely nothing on here that would connect RUBYCONE to the geographical area from whence they came. Overall, this is a wonderful album that sounds familiar yet fresh in many ways.
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Tupan wrote:
11 days ago
I've added the albums and updated their websites. Good music, btw!
Bosh66 wrote:
11 days ago
I'm intrigued. I'll give it a listen tomorrow. Never heard of them. The artist entry needs updating btw ;-)

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