The early to mid-2000s was an impressive hot bed for British underground rock and hardcore bands of exceptional quality. If you wanted massive sing-a-long anthems you bought 'Ideas Above Our Station' by Hundred Reasons or 'The Remote Part' by Idlewild. If you wanted math-y intellectualism and post-hardcore bluster you bought 'The Neon Handshake' by Hell Is For Heroes or 'Casually Dressed and Deep In Conversation' by Funeral For A Friend. If you wanted obscure, weird freak outs you bought 'Infinity Land' by the younger, hairier Biffy Clyro, and if you wanted blasts of chaotic, political hardcore noise you bought 'A Song To Ruin' by Million Dead. All of these records offered an exhilarating glimpse into what should have been a glorious British invasion in rock music, but if you wanted something that touched on all of these qualities in one place, you bought a Reuben album.
Hailing from Surrey, Reuben were a diverse, often hilarious and endlessly creative force of nature. They sadly only stuck around for three full albums culminating in their swansong 'In Nothing We Trust' which was an astounding but almost completely joyless work of brutality and rage. Before that happened, however, Reuben put out two other albums of stunning quality, including the one they're reissuing - they're magnificent debut 'Racecar Is Racecar Backwards'.
The album still holds up ten years on - but perhaps the only surprise in that statement is that this fresh-faced, youthful album is now a decade old. All of the old classics are ready and present - the searing punk anthem 'Stuck In My Throat', the crossover hit that never was Freddy Krueger, and the rock assault of 'Let's Stop Hanging Out'. These songs are incredibly well crafted and there is not an ounce of fat left on the plate.
Review of Reuben's album We Should Have Gone To University.
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