Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Reuben top 25 part one.

In 2008, arguably the UK’s best underground band, Reuben, split up. Well, okay, “indefinite Hiatus”, but how many bands have said that and then never act on it? The band’s official forum blossomed with uproar, memories, emotion and heartache. Reuben’s fans are loyal, I can tell you that, and everybody who had a farewell message to the band almost broke their keyboard with their huge goodbyes. It is for that reason that I have delivered this list to you. You may not know the band, but maybe this, and their music, will change your mind.

Reuben’s ten-year history had its ups and downs, including headlining festivals, having their Christmas dreams shattered, stealing fans from Metallica, almost breaking the top 40 and then breaking up. Along the way, they wrote and recorded over one hundred songs, released three albums, eleven singles, six EP’s, a huge double-disk DVD and even had time to pose as their favourite Doctor’s. This list tries to chart their musical successes by taking the votes from dozens of fans, and compiling them to find out what is truly Reuben’s greatest song.

25. Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em (118 points)

Starting off the list is a great little song that was first heard on Zane Lowe’s Radio 1 show when he had them in doing a session. It’s tough little riff and fast yet complex structure made sure fans knew that album two was going to deliver, hard. I got a band and a woman too,
I got a plan and a focussed view and that's cool for twenty one”

24. Moving to Blackwater (133 points)

This slow little number was the bands final single from album number one, and personally, I think it was an odd choice. After the first (‘Stuck In My Throat’) terrorized the listener and the second (‘Freddy Kreuger’) was a poptastic wonder, it was an odd choice to see Reuben pick this, slower effort instead of something a little more crowd pleasing. However, it stuck it out and is now favoured by many as a great song, landing itself in many top 5’s. My smile is fragile, my heart is held together with string and sellotape, be gentle.”

23. Parties Break Hearts (140 points)

This one is a dirty little rocker. One for the riffs, the dancing and certainly a little bit of sexual innuendo too. A brilliant song, which is one of my personal favourites, and clearly I’m not the only one. And the word on everyone's lips is 'oxygen'. And before I can catch my breath it's time to drink and dance again.”

22. Good Luck (153 points)

Jamie Lenman donned his acoustic and a lovely girl vocalist for this, more intimate effort. This song about two separate events in Jamie’s life, which just made him want to say, “Good Luck, I hope I never see you again”. It’s a brilliantly written song, which a lot of people can connect too in some way, and I personally am thankful it made it onto this list. Cause if you hurt me, I will hate you, it's just as simple as that, it's not mature, and it's not progressive, that doesn't alter the fact…”

21. Alpha Signal Three (153 points)

Bringing in another guest vocalist for this, almost entirely aggressive look at a relationship with a girl, this song shows the more powerfully focused side of Reuben’s heavy tendencies. Take shouting, add thundering bass and guitar, chuck in some brilliant riotous drumming and stir it up with a healthy dose of great lyrics, and you might have an idea of how bloody good this song is. “I guess I loved her, But I still made her cry.”

20. Scared of the Police (158 points)

Reuben’s first single showed a side to them that was almost undeniably the way of things to come, at least for their upcoming first album. It was heavy yet very melodic, with a healthy dose of singing and shouting too, and yet still had a sense of originality and burgeoning talent. “I’m scared of your anger, and I don’t know what causes it, and you know that it hurts me, but I like you.”

19. Suffocation of the Soul (161 points)

With their third album, Reuben showed more promise than ever before, writing a great amount of songs that just exploded with ideas and stories. This song seems to be about Jamie loosing his mind a little, with hints towards it focussing on his relationships and being a member of the band. It is a powerful song, which could have many meanings that only one man now working in an office knows. I could create like it was stealing, I loved to sing how I was feeling. I had a soul that burned for beauty, but who gives a shit? I must admit, I've lost it a little bit, I've lost it a little bit.”

18. Horrorshow (163 points)

Another great from the early days of Reuben, this is the second song from their debut album ‘Racecar Is Racecar Backwards’. It seems to explore Jamie’s mind, encouraging memories for him while playing with Reuben, and showing a darker side to his personality that may not necessarily come through otherwise. Also, it shows his more dependant side on people with lyrics like I try my best and now I don't sleep, I never rest. My aching heart is emptiest when I'm alone.”

17. Best Enemies (165 points)

A more quiet sombre number, this song explains Jamie at one of his clearly saddest moments, when his girlfriend has clearly been doing something bad behind his back, and he’s had let go a woman who he felt very attached too. This shows Jamie at one of is more heart-wrenching moments, and is a perfect example of the contrast from one song to the next in Reuben’s back catalogue. So now the tears come easily and she promises to change her ways, but it's not about what you do, it is who you are that matters these days”

16. Cities on Fire (168 points)

Like many people, the day when Reuben released new material, live, on compilations or online, was the best day of the week. Reuben would always surprise, intrigue and keep you held close for the entire running time. So when I first heard ‘Cities Of Fire’ live, I was flabbergasted and loved it instantly. Before I would hear it on CD, I would hear it twice more live, and by the second time, I sang along with nearly the entire chorus. This song, inspired by the Great Fire Of London, sounds so warm, yet so abrasive, that it feels exactly as it should when describing a city ablaze. So play your violin, and breathe the sulphur in,
take it on the chin, as London sheds its skin.”

15. Dusk (171 points)

To reach the end of Reuben’s first album unaffected would be a feat. And if you had, this song would surely change your mind. The song, described by the band themselves as being about “the exhaustion that the band felt in creating their first album” and everything they went through to get to that point, funding the money for it’s inception out of their own pockets. The song itself is sombre, yet satirical and pretty frank in its description of themselves as a band. “This situation, it tears us apart, and we joke about it, we make jokes of ourselves.”

14. Every Time a Teenager Listens to Drum N’ Bass a Rockstar Dies (176 points)

At this second album stage, this was a new thing for Reuben, as it was the first to feature a pre-song computer "beats" section, and it became a live favourite quickly due to this and it’s potent chorus line. It would seem like this is about the age-old description of someone who spends all their time with their girlfriend and leaves their friends behind, to abusive remarks.
”You're so pretty, and I'm so stupid...”
became a favourite live line quickly, and it showed Reuben’s great fanbase, who would belt these lyrics back at the band, to the extent that they themselves wouldn’t have to sing them at all.

13. Let’s Stop Hanging Out (179 points)

One of Reuben’s early singles, it was a surprise to many that this was re-recorded for their debut album. Personally, I don’t see why, as it was possibly one of their best songs up to that point, and clearly, is still held up high in many fans minds. It’s chanted chorus and potent mixture of melodic and aggressive lyrics made this a live favourite quickly, and Reuben gained a new fan in the shape of MTV’s own Zane Lowe. “Oh, lets stop hanging out, Let's stop having fun, you deserve to be with no one!”

12. Banner Held High (183 points)

Personally, I was surprised to see this up this high, considering it’s a b-side on a very early single. That though, has nothing to do with the song. The song is a rip-roaring blast festival in which your face wouldn’t last 3 seconds. This song was originally favoured over the eventual A-side choice of ‘Stux’, to no avail, as it ended up 22 spaces higher in this list than aforementioned single choice. Social interaction, it makes me sick down to my stomach, I'm just building up a network, of these people I pretend to know.”

11. Fall of the Bastille (195 points)

Personally, I think this song is about a time in Jamie’s life when he was young, and his girlfriend dumped him. Well, it may not sound like an inspiring time of life, but it’s what happened after that which I think inspired the lyrics. It seems like Jamie’s dad’s words of comfort helped him out, and got him back on the right path. Who knows, it’s all conjecture really. If you say "nothing left to lose", then you have not lost your voice, and if you've got the guts to choose, I will still give you the choice”

1 comment:

Jack said...

Awesome job mate! There are some big songs lower down than I expected! I can't believe Dusk isn't in the top 10! Look forward to the next installment tomorrow :-)