Rubikon returns with their first new album in four years. The Record, out September 20, 2019 on Round Hill Records, brings the band back to the basics, delivering a slew of swampy, hard rocking songs with hook-heavy vocal melodies. Rubikon is more than a band, it’s a brotherhood consisting of five friends that love making music together, and you can hear it shine through with this album. “There’s nothing like locking the band in a room and refusing to come out until we’ve got a bunch of tunes to share with the world,” says guitarist Dave Raymond. “We bounced a wide range of ideas off of each other this time around – hard rock, of course, but also more classic-sounding rock, Americana, folk, nothing was off the table – and we are pumped about the album that came out of that process.”
The Record follows up the success of Delta (2015) , which spawned the Top 40 Active Rock single “Live That Lie,” and brought numerous song placements on shows such as Shameless. The songs on The Record expand on their signature sound. They are tighter and hit harder; there’s a wider dynamic range and a more experimental approach in bringing in a variety of instruments such as pedal-steel guitar, baritone saxophone, and even banjo and mandolin.
For the recording process, the band assembled at Sienna Studios in Nashville (formerly Quad Studios where they recorded Delta), working with engineer-mixer Tim Brennan (Steven Tyler, Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Gretchen Wilson). The Record features the usual Rubikon suspects – Jae Sims (vocals), Josh Gruss (guitars), Dave Raymond (guitars), Hugh Eaton (bass), and Doug Arsham (drums and vocals) – but also includes guest spots from Elisha Hoffman (mandolin, banjo, acoustic guitar), Drew Belk (pedal steel), and Randy Leago (saxophone). The album was recorded live (the band admits to a handful of overdubs) and was mastered by Alex McCollough (Robert Plant, John Prine, Amanda Shires).
The result brought Rubikon’s distinctive style to such hard rock bangers as “Blood on My Hands,” their first single, and a song about taking personal ownership of how we treat people in the world. Listeners will also find a classic rock leaning, almost Americana side of the band on songs such as the pedal-steel laced “Devil’s Footsteps,” which showcases a mellower side of their songwriting. All of the songs on The Record weave stories that meld together to create an intense musical mixture of hard rock riffs, rootsy rhythms, and soaring melodic vocals.
After three full-length albums, a couple of EPs, and some serious time crammed into a van/RV touring the country and playing with such bands as Disturbed, Black Label Society, Damageplan, Sevendust, Shinedown, and most recently Tesla to name a few, The Record finds Rubikon in a more experimental place, but the constant elements remain the same: five friends who love making music together, playing for their fans, and having a great time doing it. As singer Jae Sims notes, “Rock n’ roll never dies. We want to restore a little organic humanity back into music. No frills, just rock. No genres, just good songs.”
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