Monday, November 13, 2006

McPhun In The Sun

The Ruby Suns - Criterion

This ray of psychedelic sunshine popped into my inbox last week and it immediately brightened a heart made heavy by returning to the drudgery of work after some time away. Sometimes you don’t want music to do anything more than put a smile back on your face and ‘Criterion’ by The Ruby Suns does just that. OK, so let’s get it out of the way first – it sounds like the Beach Boys. A lot. There’s even one bit about two and a half minutes in when I thought it was going to segue into ‘Sloop John B’. But any song that shares the sentiment, “You deserve to be with the one you love” gets my vote. It’s a wonderful pop song and it feels totally at odds with the lack of hours of daylight we’re getting at the moment, but serves as a reminder that it won’t be cold forever. As well as the obvious Brian Wilson influence, there’s something about it that reminds me of Ride circa-‘Carnival of Light’, which is no bad thing.

The Ruby Suns are an eight-piece lead by California native Ryan McPhun (which apparently is his real name), who relocated to New Zealand, formed a band and signed to Lil’ Chief Records, who in turn have licensed the band’s first album to the excellent Memphis Industries for release in the UK (on the 27th January 2007). The songs tackle increasingly bizarre subject matter including which shipping company to use (‘Look Out SOS!’), the story of a Kenyan zebra (‘Maasai Mara’) and what happens when you combine a skateboard wheel with a non-electric vacuum cleaner (‘Trepidation Pt 2’). It’s a brilliant collection of songs, and proof that McPhun and the band’s influences branch out beyond the obvious, their status as an octet hinting at a Polyphonic Spree-like presence when they take to the stage.

The video for 'Maasai Mara' -

The Ruby Suns at Memphis Industries
The Ruby Suns at Lil' Chief Records
The Ruby Suns at My Space