Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
What a one two combination that Ruby Boots has. She jabs with the glam/alternative and delivers the knockout blow with a mixture of rock and blues. And I am not even mentioning her strongest weapon, that sultry voice. If Ruby is the fighter, then credit is also deserved for the trainers and management. In this case that honor goes to Bloodshot Records for releasing another blockbuster in the making. Bloodshot doesn’t worry as much about genres as they do about whether music is compelling and rocks. And that is a winning formula.
Ruby hails from Perth, Australia but now makes her home in Nashville. She is tough as nails and has been on her own, for the most part, since age 16. It seems music has given her strength and the ability to write honest and infectious songs. The overwhelming takeaway from Don’t Talk About It is the attitude and sass possessed by Ruby and the band. Definitely a good dose of punk rock swagger tempered with some comforting vocals and melodies.
The album touches all the emotions: happy, sad, desperate, elated, and everything in between. I think sad is the emotion that touches the deepest. Just listen to Break My Heart Twice (Track 5), if you think I jest. This is no joke. This song really is a tear jerker. All of the raw emotions of sadness, heartbreak, and loss can be felt as if it were actually happening. Although it is a sad song, the beauty is not lost. Ruby’s voice is so convincing she could have a career in acting, if she wanted to (but that’s another story).
The album starts off with a roar and a healthy blast of feedback. It’s So Cruel (Track 1) is a double date between T Rex and AC/DC. This is a little more aggressive than your garden variety glam rock. And it’s oh, so good. The feedback and distortion are used brilliantly to create some wonderful sound, but they lay off the gas at just the right time. They must have rented a crystal ball for the recording of Don’t Talk About It.
Another instance of a beautiful one two combo in the first and second song. Believe In Heaven (Track 2) starts of with the most amazing riff that sounds like a combination of percussion and piano and it produces a sound that literally makes me weak in the knees. This song may be my Kryptonite. If that’s so, I accept my weakness, because I don’t want to ever be without hearing this song again.
I am debating whether or not to highlight another song from this fabulous album. OK, you twisted my proverbial arm. Let’s take a look at Easy Way Out (Track 4), shall we? This sounds as if it should have or could have been released as one of the alt-country entries from somewhere in the area of 1987 through 1993. It certainly has that nostalgic vibe to it. But is also rocks the house down.
Ruby Boots may be a relative newcomer to the United States, but she is no stranger to making great music. Don’t Talk About It is definitely proving the rule. Just stunning. I expect this one to be on a shit ton of best of lists for 2018. One listen and you will certainly see why.