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Promising Debut from Irish Lads

Rubyhorse - Rise
(Island Records)
3 Stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: June 5, 2002


By Tony Bonyata

Hailing from Boston by way of their native homeland of Cork, Ireland, rock quintet Rubyhorse have just released their debut album entitled Rise. On it they not only hint at the music of another famous Irish rock act (U2), but manage to slip in Beatlesque melodies, power pop ballads that rise above the standard MOR pap, as well as a good number of muscular rock anthems packaged in Goo Goo Dolls wrapping.
While Rubyhorse's formula is nothing new, their power and passion, not to mention a strong sense of songcraft, make up for their lack of inventiveness. Songs such as the the pounding "Bitter," featuring the shiny guitar of Joe Philpott, "Sparkle," with it's big reverbing '80s guitar line and the delicious pop of "Into The Lavender" are sure to garner them a good amount of airplay. The deep passionate vocals of singer Dave Farrell certainly don't hurt the mix either.
With a bit of electronica thrown in on the opening number "Happy in the Sunshine," and the techno dance pop of "Evergreen," these Irish lads sound, more than coincidentally, like U2's own techno influenced album Pop. And if their knack for crafting a memorable melody in Beatle-like fashion isn't enough, they also managed to secure the unmistakable slide guitar-work of the late George Harrison on the moving ballad "Punchdrunk" (not a bad acquisition for a debut album).
While Rubyhorse isn't going to win any awards for freshness, their pleasing pop and catchy numbers, nonetheless, still makes for an enjoyable enough debut from a band that shows a lot of promise.

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