It’s that time again in Austin: the weather is unbearably hot, and the days seem to last forever as the sun sets late, and the kids, out for the summer, frolic in public pools and sprinklers while you count the days until the oven breeze turns to just a warm breeze. Yes, that’s right, the dog days of summer are upon us. But never fear, The Love Language has just the release to give you a new lease on summer; Ruby Red is just about as refreshing as a cool plunge into Barton Springs.
On this third studio release, The Love Language, headed up by Stuart McLamb, have put together an album filled with straight up rockin’ jams that will have you coming back again and again. First up is one of these infectious tunes, “Calm Down,” which begins with a groovy bass line and a frenzied drum beat. A few seconds into the song, you get McLamb coming in with his echo-y vocals and the words “don’t look back now…” right before they launch full speed ahead into the song. It seems like a fresh start for the group and an invitation for you to come right along with them and forget the past in a blur of garage rock mixed with a hint of lo-fi coming through; the dual vocals on the chorus give it that lo-fi flare, grounded in the jangly, all out explosive instrumental ending. And that’s just the first song.
Continuing on this positive start, up third seems to be the song that has made it’s way into my favorite slot: “Hi Life.” It’s one of those numbers that just seems to shine and glitter, with its layers of instruments, horns included. These layers help each song stick out from the next: every track battling for more depth of said layers than the track before it. Right in the middle of things, you get a number like “For Izzy,” that slows down the roaring pace, but McLamb keeps you right there with him with his vocals that may not float atop the mix, but whose far away quality makes you hang on to his every word, while the slow, waltz-esque beat dances next to him. This number especially reminds me a bit of The Walkmen, which is never a bad thing.
Overall, Ruby Red seems to be a step in a more garage, and more colorful direction for The Love Language. On their last album they seemed to stick to a milder path, but Ruby Red is pure rock n roll. Have a listen and enjoy the rest of summer. Perhaps this is even an album to carry you right on through the rest of the year.