BY AIDAN JOHNSON
‘LO LA RU’ is the third album from alternative rock band The Rubens who herald from Menangle (in the Macarthur region) on the New South Wales south coast. The band worked with Wilder Zoby and Lil’ Shalimar (who co-produced ‘Run the Jewels 3’) to produce ‘LO LA RU’. After taking the #1 spot on Triple J’s Hottest 100 in 2015 with their song Hoops from their platinum album by the same name. The band went underground in a converted-World War 2 bunker where they created their fake nation ‘LO LA RU’ (LO LA RU’s flag forms the cover of the album). With the record already debuting at #3 on the ARIA Album Chart, the album is expected to be a success on the Hottest 100 come January.
Released in October, the lead single ‘Million Man’ cements The Rubens new sound they’re aiming for on the album. The secondly released single off the album ‘Never Ever’ is a heartbreaking duet between lead singer Sam Margin and Sarah Aarons (Melbourne songwriter) who’s worked with numerous Aussie and international musical acts. Even with the new sound the Rubens aim for on ‘LO LA RU’, their classic sound still appears on songs like ‘Woman Oh Woman’, ‘Casper’, and ‘Freakout’. The band continues their funky production with ‘I Know’ and ‘Go On’, which if you listen to closely can hear the R&B influence to their Alt. Rock heavily centered on the album. The 5 piece still has some terrific music with killer tracks like ‘SOSO’, ‘Teeth’, and ‘All My Dollars’ in the second half of the album but is slightly duller than the front half.
The 12-track album, fittingly titled ‘LO LA RU’ has been released to acclaim and criticism. While ‘LO LA RU’ is a terrific LP, it doesn’t feel like it surpasses ‘Hoops’ (The Rubens second studio album), which is why I’m giving ‘LO LA RU’ 8/10 stars.