I Never Do This Sort of Thing
----------- an introduction to 'i never do this sort of thing' by dave reidy ----------- If hooks are pop music's currency, Matt Ruby is a rich man. But a hook only keeps you around for so long. For a song to be more than a passing fancy, it needs substance. It needs dark chocolate inside the colorful candy shell. On his first solo collection, I Never Do This Sort Of Thing, Ruby's shadowy lyrics provide that contrast. Written, performed, and produced by Ruby (former frontman for the well-regarded Plastics Hi-Fi), I Never Do This Sort Of Thing has a stripped-down vibe. His raw voice, reminiscent of Lou Reed or maybe Stephen Merritt in his upper register, measures out noirish tales of sex, drugs, and love gone wrong. British invasion melodies nestle up against R&B grooves reminiscent of Dr. Dre or D'Angelo. Meanwhile, stark instrumentation swirls in the mix, usually in the form of vintage guitar and keyboard tones. The songcraft is what let's you really sink your teeth in though. The driving drum and bass of 'I Bet The Devil Loves You' set the scene for an addled theological come-on. 'Gunshy' wraps fear of intimacy in a breakneck pop package. 'Movie Love' recalls a bygone era, at once evoking and rehabbing it's sound. 'Do You Wanna Ride' is a head-bobber with a rock-solid groove. When you listen to I Never Do This Sort Of Thing for the first time, you might hear overtones of Bowie, Beck, or the Beatles. But sometimes influences inhabit Ruby's songs in more subtle ways. How many listens will it take to hear The Turtles in the organ on 'You Don't Know How To Keep It,' or Tom Petty in the 12-string riff that caps 'I Can Stop (If I Want To)'? Who else are you going to hear? The Eurythmics? Buddy Holly? The Zombies? Maybe all of them, maybe none. The only sure thing is that with sticky hooks and the lyrics to back them up, you'll want to lick all the way to the center. ----------- matt ruby bio ----------- Matt Ruby first captured attention as frontman for his previous band, Plastics Hi-Fi. That outfit combined psychedelia with pop songcraft to create a buzz in the Chicago scene in the early 00's. The band released a few records, toured the country, gigged with acts like Death Cab for Cutie, Alex Chilton, & Grandaddy, and even supplied the Chicago Blackhawks with their ad campaign song for the 2003-4 season. The usual sturm und drang of rock life eventually took it's toll though. The band parted ways and Ruby took some time off to travel the world, shoot some photos, and gig with other bands. In 2004, Ruby began to craft a different, more shadowy sound in his home studio. The new songs combine a low-voiced rock vibe with vintage sounds (farfisa, fuzz, 12-string, melodica, etc. - all performed by Ruby), British Invasion/Motown inspired songcraft, and disco/R&B grooves. Ruby's thick lyrics about thin chicks, thin hours, and thin grips top off the tracks.