Rubik
Dada Bandits
Paper Tiger AV/Fullsteam Records
★★★

On their sophomore release, Rubik teeters on a stylistic ledge, sometimes making you dizzy with their changes, but the songwriting is accomplished enough not to make things messy.

The first song “Goji Berries” might scare you as they bounce between pop and five second blasts of hardcore with no indication that the song is about to make a hard turan or bouncy back into pop song that can fit into a Jason Reitman film.
Just when you start to figure out where Dada Bandits is going, “Radiants” takes another hard left and crashes you into a gorgeous pop epic. Artturi Taira walks a tightrope between vocal fragility and simply being able to stretch out the lyrical landscape with higher ranges he still can comfortably fit into.

This orchestrated pop concoction does a great job at moving the instruments around. At first listen you may not hear sounds that bloom later. But whether it’s a cool bass lick, a quick sax solo, or the hum of the moog trying to take center stage, that’s the charm of this release.

Rubik – Wasteland (Music Video)

And how this Finnish band knows about Indiana with their song of the same title, I think is a conspiracy, especially when they take a hard angular jazz direction. It would feel a little pretentious to think that this band is capturing the essence of our state, but it’s interesting to put it into that context.

The balance between electronics and human instruments is something this band should be proud of . Dada Bandits are best characterized by the word intriguing. It’s fascinating how Rubik pulls off all of these stylistic changes. By the time you get to “Richard Branson’s Crash Landing” you are in a full-blown celebration that you never want to end. And to me, that is really where this album should end. However, the final few mediocre songs meander like a ghost without a grave.

Categories: Reviews

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