Guitars crashing into each other with a reckless abandon, leaving streaks of rigid texture in their path. A bass that seems determined to grind us into the ground, even if it means dragging thunderous, reverberating percussive beats down with us. Drums that don’t stop beating against a vivid, synthesized backdrop comprised of conflicting colorful tones. This is “Stomach Coil,” the brand new single from The Chris Ruben Band, a critically acclaimed rock group who have been the taking the indie music scene by storm as of late. Arguably their most fiercely produced release yet, “Stomach Coil” pummels us with layer after layer of wondrous sonic violence all while holding us under the spell of its bittersweet lyrical content, which is easily as exciting an element as any of its scorching guitar solos are.
From the very start, we’re assaulted with one explosive riff after another in this single, and in a rare twist the guitar is the instrument responsible for forging all of the framework in the song, not the bass or drums. With the guitar managing the weighty part of the workload, it frees up what would traditionally be the rhythm section and “Stomach Coil” becomes a vicious, uncaged animal. As discordant as everything gets in this track, the music itself never spills out of the speakers and into a pile of indiscernible mush and white noise. Thanks to the refined producing and supreme attention to detail in the mix, we’re able to appreciate every stitch of intensity that this song has to offer without being bombarded with unwanted feedback.
The wall of sound that smacks us in the chorus is equal parts sublime psychedelia and cerebral jazz experimentation, both realized through the lens of a contemporary, punk-inspired audiological profile. Even when we take away the lyrics and the beat of this song, there’s still a lot of virtuosity that gives it a rich vitality to communicate the emotion of the composer. This can hardly be said of most pop music, let alone magnetic, chest-pounding hard rock in the style of “Stomach Coil.” That being said, The Chris Ruben Band doesn’t cut any corners with this single and delivers something that satisfies not only the physical aspect of a rock fan’s lust but the deeper aesthetical aspect of it as well.
Sophisticated and far from streamlined, this latest single from The Chris Ruben Band is likely to leave anyone with a love of pure hard rock music very pleased with what they’ll discover inside of its three minute-playing time. With “Stomach Coil,” the band proves once and for all that they’re able to pack a lot of little details into a relatively small space without having to give up any tonality or grandeur in the process. This is a great look for them and a fine way to cap off a rather abysmal year of rock releases from their contemporaries on this side of the Atlantic. Building off this momentum, there’s not a doubt in my mind that The Chris Ruben Band plan on having as big a 2019 as they did 2018.