Wednesday, 30 May 2018
The Rubinoos - The Rubinoos (1978)
Released November 1977
Recorded in California
In the spring/summer of 1978, this was rarely off my turntable. The Rubinoos flourished somehow, briefly, while the flames of punk burned around them. These weren't no anarchists, no nihilists, no blank generation. They were clean-cut Southern Californian kids brought up on mom's cookies and ice cream while watching Saturday morning cartoons. They were the well-brought up children of The Monkees and The Beach Boys. Cousins to The Archies and Tommy James And The Shondells.
Jon Rubin's angelic vocals and boy next door good looks were the cornerstone of this four piece "power pop" outfit. He kicks off the album in fine voice on their killing cover of the afore-mentioned Tommy James' "I Think We're Alone Now". The pleasant pop is a breath of fresh California air as we continue with the catchy "Leave My Heart Alone" and the funky-ish guitar of "Hard To Get". "Rock And Roll Is Dead" sees the band, in the shape of guitarist Tommy Dunbar getting all angry and parodying the early Beatles. "Peek-A-Boo", unfortunately, is just a tad silly.
The old "side two" opens with the beautiful extended ballad, "Memories" and their nod to The Beach Boys, the identically-titled "Wouldn't It Be Nice" is a classic in itself. "Nothing A Little Love Won't Cure" and "I Never Thought It Would Happen" are both melodic, singalong pop perfection. "Make It Easy" is a hooky, summery driving along with the radio on song.
Stick this on on a hot summers afternoon. For me, its 1978 again.