Rx Bandits – Gemini, Her Majesty
2.) Ruby Cumulous
3.) Wide Open
5.) Fire To the Ocean
7.) Will You Be Tomorrow
8.) Meow! Meow! Space Tiger
10.) Penguin Marlon Brando
11.) Future, Buddy
The Pier Album Rating:
Release Date: July 22nd, 2014
Record Label: Mash Down Babylon Records
Official Website: RX Bandits Website
The Rx Bandits were thrust onto the scene during the third-wave ska resurgence of the 1990s. Hailing from Southern California, members of the Rx Bandits have received critical acclaim for their live performance and technical ability. With over twenty years of experience, The Rx Bandits have evolved into the progressive four-piece rock band they are today having just released their seventh full-length studio album.
Known for their passion and energy on and off the stage, the Rx Bandits are not afraid to try something new in the studio. Each album has its own distinct sound with the abilities of each member improving from the previous record. The band apparently had enough of being signed to another record label, so they took matters into their own hands by starting Mash Down Babylon Records for their 2006 release …And The Battle Begun. Their dedication over the last twenty years only makes their fan base more dedicated.
Within three minutes of “Ruby Cumulous”, Chris Tsagakis has already hit nearly all pieces of percussion, Matt Embree uses his guitar to tell new fans that he doesn’t write your average cookie cutter riffs, Steve Choi makes his multi-instrumental presence known, and Joe Troy marches his bass right along.
The precision Matt Embree puts into each note chord makes the bond between him and Steve Choi evident. The album takes a uplifting, melodic & soulful turn with “Wide Open” followed by “Stargazer”, the inspiration for the cover art and title. We also hear a little more pronounced bass from Troy in “G2G” along with more beautiful vocals that connect the various tempo changes.
All of the lyrics have been well placed, intelligent, unmatched by any current band out there. Embree has always had a special sense of writing from a humanistic point of view. His passion is recognizably apparent. He takes full advantage of his vocal range when the album slows with “Will You Be Tomorrow”.
A perfect example of the entire bands individual talents is heard in “Meow! Meow! Space Tiger” with a catchy chorus, and a crisp drum track hit with confidence, deliberateness and syllable is sung with confidence. Chris is a genius behind the kit as he never takes a break and I would not be surprised if his drum tracks were all laid down in one take.
The album culminates with all the talents of each member. Whether or not the Rx Bandits intend to focus on their studio performance without too much consideration for how these songs will sound live, I believe they will work their way into the Rx Bandits permanent set-list and be welcomed with open arms from fans old and new.
We live in an age where music fans are bombarded with one single at a time via the radio or music apps like Spotify & Pandora. The band tells a story that flows with cohesive fluidity through the duration of the record and the engineering on this album is near perfect. The producers did a phenomenal job with the mix, allowing us to hear each instrument and voice clearly.
Many of the songs are unconventional for the common music fan that is used to simple beats with only a few chords to its complexity and creativity. Gemini, Her Majesty, is full of tempo changes that contribute to a collection of tracks that touch on many basic human emotions. It is obvious the RX Bandits have put a lot of hard work into the album’s composition.
Written & Reviewed By: Blake Taylor
[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer, expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, not the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]