Rubblebucket, a fast rising seven piece from Brooklyn (by way of Vermont/Massachusetts), manage to combine the best of 80’s mainstream pop (think Madonna, Hall & Oates) with indie rock creativity/weirdness producing engaging music that is hard to define but easy to enjoy. This teaser EP Save Charlie contains three new songs, three remixes and a cover.
While not overloaded with new material the songs here are joyous. The horns blare clear and crisp as producer Tom Biller (Liars, Warpaint, Kate Nash) gets a slick but not overproduced sound from the wild arraignments. The late night dance party feel is infectious on the title track as the wah-wah guitar, digital claps, synths, vocal ooh-ooh-ooh’s just meld gloriously.
Dense pop like this keeps rewarding with multiple listens but the overall feeling makes you accept it without question upon first listen. “Patriotic” takes those synths and pumps up the chorus to soaring heights behind Kalmia Traver’s confident vocals and Alex Toth’s trumpet runs. The band however can’t pull off miracles and their cover of the Doobie Brothers “What A Fool Believes” is passable, but source material holds it back.
The last original “6 Hands” is the quirkiest (and shortest at 2 minutes) tune here with odd changes and breaks while the remixes by Big Black Delta, Fun Secret and Chico Mann are fine but more filler than anything else, none improving on the originals. Even with lineup changes Rubblebucket seems poised to soar when they release their full length, this precursor only serves to whet the appetite even more.