One thing that never tires me about Rubblebucket is that they can create unique, stand-alone tracks that each sound like they’re each from a completely different band. That, and their gratuitous use of brass (I’ll always be a ska kid at heart, I guess). Having not heard new music from the Brooklyn group since their 2014 release, Survival Sounds, it feels like a blessing to be graced by their new EP, If U C My Enemies, which comes via the band’s So Sensation Records.
The EP begins with a tinkling of keys on the track “Donna,” which sees Kalmia Traver’s washed out vocals and a groovy sax. If you close your eyes, you can practically see Traver on stage, dancing to this psychedelic number as she hits her perfectly timed falsetto. Next is the titular track, which hops around from being subdued and grounded to upbeat and energized. It kicks off with a heavy saxophone that’s balanced out by a perky trumpet from bandleader Alex Toth, then transitions into a quintessentially quirky Rubblebucket song with the help of Traver’s ascending vocals. The single is empowered and punchy, grabbing you by your shirt collar and dancing your around the room on its uplifting synths.
Following is “Not Cut out for This,” which is airy and sobering. The trumpet and lulling synths give it a more classic ska feel, and it’s the perfect dose of reality in such a small collection of songs. If U C My Enemies closes out with “Forlornification,” a funky, exuberant track that’ll leave your head buzzing with synths and brass. Its layered, gospel-like vocals and brass/guitar combo come full circle to enchant and haunt your mind, in the best way possible.
Rubblebucket plays their EP release show tonight at Greenpoint venue Warsaw. Stream the EP below.