In this day and age of the music industry, you might find yourself stumbling across one of your fave bands working on a sick campaign for a new album. This happened to me in January, when I came across an article stating that the notorious Rx Bandits had created a campaign for a new album on Pledgemusic. As a huge fan of the reward-based crowdfunding site, I was gifted a digital download of the album (to join a sweet-ass signed vinyl) when the music was finished. What I received in my mailbox in August would be Gemini, Her Majesty which released July 22nd, 2014.
I have been a huge fucking fan of Rx Bandits since the early 2000’s. Not only did their albums …And The Battle Begun and Mandala grace my ears with creative stimuli, but their side project with The Sound Of Animals Fighting brought me more joy in my life then I thought music was even capable of. To partially credit TSOAF and Rx with my path into the music business would be an accurate retelling. I wanted to work with bands like Rx, who gave zero fucks about combining ska with punk with prog rock and KILLED it with everything they did. Admittedly, I have a boner for the band already, so this new album had expectations to fill.
And damnit, they fucking nailed it. They have songs I can totally picture tantalizing listeners still tuning into their local rock FM stations (particularly Stargazer, which caught my attention right off the bat), and songs that songs that appeal to a more indie audience that remembers the band fondly for their more ska-driven past (G2G and Penguin Marlin Brando), and a song that even pays tribute to their founding year as a band (good ol’ 1995). Matt Embree is always getting it on vocals, and the layering of his vocals will drive anyone into a state of euphoria. Further, shout out to Christopher fucking Tsagakis who’s drumming is fucking sharp as wit.
While hardcore fans of Rx constantly rip them new buttholes for their deviation away from their hardcore ska beginnings, I feel that this album will appease to those fans and new alike. It’s an enjoyable album throughout (while anticlimactic at times with slower song progressions and sometimes obvious attention to certain songs over others) and it has been a treat to receive so many years after falling in love with Mandala. While it will probably be very unlikely they will perform this album live (due to its complexity within the physical recordings), it will be an album to enjoy for years to come (or until the next successful Pledgemusic campaign comes underway). Thank you, boys, for making me a happy girl once again with Gemini, Her Majesty.
OVERALL RATING: Pretty Dope.
SONGS TO LOOK OUT FOR: Ruby Cumulous, Wide Open, Stargazer, Will You Be Tomorrow, 1995.
TOUR DETAILS: http://www.rxbanditsofficial.com/ (They have one gig listed for Riot Fest in September, but I find it unlikely they will have anything past that due to their desire to end their touring careers).