by Elisabeth Fuchsia
Rick Rude is one of the most infectiously fun bands in New England right now. I personally hate fun and so I've tried my hardest to get through several of their sets in a bad mood, but they always manage to warm my tiny, cold Grinch heart. The first time I saw them was at The Thing in the Spring 2015, when they opened up a Curse Purse/Longings/Kindling/California X show at the Toadstool Bookshop. Traditionally, the opening set of each show at the Thing is outside the venue, and Rick Rude decided to play on the roof. I decided to climb up there and take a few photos of them, I remembered I don't like heights, I got stuck, etc.. While I was up there cursing my impulsive decision, my poor choice in footwear, and all of my friends for not responding to my barrage of "please hold this ladder I'm scared to climb down alone" texts, I realized that I had the best seat in the house for a set by a really cool band, and I chilled out.
In the year and change since then, they've released Mind Cook, a sweet little 7", and recorded a full-length album, the forthcoming Make Mine Tuesday; a full-band, fully-plugged-in version of the song shot here, "Mauve Talk," will be on the latter. Nobody's ever really liked it, but I'm going to keep describing Rick Rude forever as a less misogynistic early career Weezer (for whom I have a major soft spot), through the lens of dearly departed local heroes Graph, with a dash of nearly departed local heroes Bunny's a Swine. Their songs are full of the kind of bouncy, deceptively simple melodic lines that will get stuck in your head for weeks, often in the form of a satisfyingly crunchy guitar solo or close three-part vocal harmony from guitarists/vocalists Ben Troy and Noah Lefebvre and bassist/vocalist Jordan Holtz, interspersed through heavier, rhythmically dense instrumental sections, all over a solid backbone courtesy of drummer Ryan Harrison.
When I initially contacted Rick Rude about doing a video at Thing in the Spring 2016, we decided to shoot acoustic to facilitate portability - the band was hoping to shoot this video at a basketball court because, according to Holtz, who was serving as my contact on these logistical issues, they "love b-ball," and we hadn't had time to scout the location for power. But it rained all day so we made the last minute call to move the shoot to Four Winds Farm, the picturesque Airbnb where the Thing crew has stayed the past couple of years, and an easy video setting. We all liked this claw-foot bathtub as both seating and percussion, and things sounded pretty good in the bathroom. So here we are, unfortunately without Lefebvre, who wasn't able to make it until just before their show with Donny Dinero (of Thing in the Spring stalwarts Mail the Horse) at Harlows that night.
You can keep up with Rick Rude via their website.