Reuben Archer With The Brand - Boneyard

Reuben Archer With The Brand - Boneyard

(CD, Private, 2019)

I really love it when music I normally don’t fancy really strikes me. Reuben Archer's last effort, “Petrol Head”, released under the PERSONAL SIN constellation, really blew me away. That record is a fantastic slow-moving and soulful Rock record with a touch of Blues. Reuben introduced “Boneyard” as more of a Blues album and for sure it is, but it’s little too simple to stop there.

It is quite standard of what can be expected when looking at the harmonies of the opening “Love Is Blind” and “Over My Shoulder”. But there are small details which set it all apart and there are a lot of fines in the song-writing which keeps it interesting straight through. The title track breaks off the flow and it is efficient with only guitar and a simple beat of the bass-drum, especially when there is great storytelling in the vocals. And when the song catches up and increases in intensity, it becomes the release that one really wants. The effect is the same when the song is taken back to its initial arrangement with the sparse musical setup.

“25 Paces” was one that got stuck from the first spins. I love the contrast between the energetic intro and the mellow verse which is just smoothened out even further in the chorus. Musically, it is perfection – just listen to the solo in this song being spine-chilling and minimalistic. What fascinates me is the expression in Reuben's voice; he has a good voice for sure, but is not one of those grande vocalists. Still, the emotion delivered beats most others with a wider range and register.

The introduction to “Nobody’s Fool” could have come from any Southern or Glam Rock arena size band. It has that massive TV touch but then again, what makes it interesting comes after. What I liked with the “Petrol Head” album is that each song generated a special feeling, most was of course those endless highways and utter freedom of driving on those endless roads. It's the same here, perhaps not as evident, but there's an ardour in it that is very rare these days. Mellow “Fade Away” is yet another example on this. The melancholy is fantastic.

The dynamics, the melancholy and expression make “Knock It Down” another favourite as it drops the curtain for “Boneyard”. It's the whole album summarized on one track and it sounds amazing.

Again, this is quite far off from what I normally listen to but still, I couldn't stop spinning it. This really shows that high quality music (good songs and a fantastic performance) is what counts and style is secondary. Again, Reuben has managed to get me moving and I really enjoy it all.





01. Love Is Blind
02. Over My Shoulder
03. Bone Yard
04. Everybody’s Got A Scam
05. 25 Paces
06. Keep On
07. Nobody’s Fool
08. Fade Away
09. Breakin Rocks
10. Knock It Down


Reuben Archer - Vocals
Chris Clowsley - Guitar
Jim Cooper - Bass
Neil Ablard - Drums
Ross Wareing - Guitar
Matt Taylor - Saxophone
Vicky Bull - Backing Vocals