by Jonah Evans (@jonahinthesnow)
Rick Rude has this kind of unpredictability about them, as in, you don’t know what kind of emotional strings they are tugging at in the progression in-and-between songs. “Dollyhook,” the first song off their latest album Verb For Dreaming, is a great example of their base flavor. It starts slow with the bass guitar playing a melody, while the guitars and drums slowly creep in seamlessly, like they were always there (but they weren't!). Smooth meandering melodies help settle into the song, it feels like an instrumental, and it is very pretty. I swear I can hear a couple tiny little slide guitar parts, but I’m not quite sure. After I get used to this instrumental song for nearly three minutes, vocals with a slight drawl come out, and my insides melt. Then on the next verse, another set of vocals comes in and sings the same lyrics, but harmonized. It’s a folky-ish country-ish vocal sound, though I wouldn't say it is a definite one or the other. It makes me feel settled in the moment, it’s so nice, and then it ends.
“Dough Nation” revs up the Rick Rude machine to an energetic, dancey pace, and I know when that happens, I would love to see the band live. The drums amp it up and the guitars come in pushing and pulling. Then the vocals splash in and they are nothing like the female vocals in the first song. They are pushy, shallow, and energetic, and I bop my head. There is a sick breakdown in the song where the band slows down and leans to the side, gets some hard hits in, then ends in pushing the feedback on the amps. And I’m like “Ah, this is Rick Rude,” a band with gumption, playfulness, not afraid to speed up or slow down. Fun.
“Slow Cooker,” is another song that shows Rick Rude’s range of character, combining the vocals of the first track “Dollyhook,” and the playfulness of “Dough Nation.” Again, the harmonies bang out in this song and it’s great. “All Lock” and “Jupiter” make me want to jump up and down. “Drumpf” is a ballad and would be nice to slow dance to. The moods are variant, the sound is distinctive, the feels are equivalent to a day where many things happen: you get mad, you get sad, you get happy, but fuck it, because that's life! We live it and we feel it. That’s what this album is to me, that's what I feel when I listen to Rick Rude, which is, everything. I can’t wait to see them live, whenever that might be.