Ruby The Hatchet, Fear Is A Cruel Master (Magnetic Eye 2022)

Ruby The Hatchet returns with their trademark heavy psych music on Fear Is A Cruel Master.

I am not even going to try to pretend I am not a big fan of Ruby The Hatchet. Truly, one of the very best experiences I had this year was seeing them perform at Psycho Las Vegas. It might sound a little over the top, but I like everything about this band – their sound, their compositions, and they way to approach live performance. The musicians are Jillian Taylor (vocals), Johnny Scarps (guitar), Owen Stewart (drums), Lake Muir (bass), and Sean Hur (keys).

I have heard everything Ruby The Hatchet has released, starting with the early self-titled EP through to Planetary Space Child (Tee Pee Records 2017) and Live At Earthquaker (Magnetic Eye Records 2022). I have been ready for the new studio album for some time now.

Fear Is A Cruel Master has eight tracks, beginning with high-energy opener “The Change.” This song has great single potential with its grooving hook and catchy, singable chorus. You can hear every element working together on this song. “Deceiver” is heavier with a darker story. The echoing lead guitar in the first half of the song casts a lasting spell. “Primitive Man” offers a grungy menace for a foundation and mesmerizing guitar and keys lines, while “1000 Years” lies along a more somber path. Taylor’s voice is the feature here and she sounds better than ever.

Side B opens with “Soothsayer.” It’s an exuberant undertaking with a mystical sensibility. “Thruster” sounds like a dark magician at work on something diabolical, then “Last Saga” slows the pace for melancholy reflections and powerful vocal duet. The final song is “Amor Gravis.” There are vibrant, even speedy elements in this song that complement perfectly the heavier overtones. It is a good vehicle to bring us back to earth at the end of the set. It is always good to have new music from Ruby The Hatchet, and the new album is even better than I expected it to be. Highly recommended.

Fear Is A Cruel Master is out on Friday, October 21st through Magnetic Eye Records in the accustomed forms. Don’t wait if you want any of the physicals because they might not last very long. Links below.

Band photo by Don Vincent Ortega.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://thehatchet.bandcamp.com/album/fear-is-a-cruel-master

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/rubythehatchet/

Magnetic Eye Records, https://en.merhq.net/

© Wayne Edwards

Ruby The Hatchet, Fear Is A Cruel Master (Magnetic Eye 2022)

Ruby The Hatchet, Live At EarthQuaker (Magnetic Eye Records 2022)

Ruby The Hatchet drops a 7-inch teaser – Live At EarthQuaker – anticipating a new album later this year.

Love at first listen is the way I would describe what I think of Ruby The Hatchet. The first music I heard from the band was Valley of the Snake (2015) and it sent me down the rabbit hole to find everything else that existed by them. The music is lush psychedelic rock, heavy and smooth and soulful. Jillian Taylor’s vocals are haunting and unforgettable, and the guitar-driven environment is one of a kind. The most recent long-player was Planetary Space Child (2017) and that one also still gets heavy rotation at the Shardik Media offices, I can tell you.

The new record has three songs. Two of the tracks are early versions of songs that will be on the upcoming album emerging later this year, and they were recorded live in Akron, Ohio at EarthQuaker Devices – that’s the maker of the pedals Ruby The Hatchet and so many other bands use for tone and effect. The third is a cover of the Uriah Heep standard “Easy Livin’.”

“1000 Years” opens quietly and has a steady build with endearing plateaus. The guitar line is a somber affair, urging drama toward the end. “Primitive Man” is a trippy number that lays on the smooth and rolls up a few rapid punches for you, too. Apparently, these are initial versions of songs that will be on the upcoming album, but they sound finished to me – more great Ruby The Hatchet music.

“Easy Livin’” popped up in 2019 as a stand-alone single. You know the song and, while you can probably imagine what it might sound like when Ruby The Hatchet sings it, the real thing is even better. It is nice to have this take wrapped in with the two new tracks.

Live at EarthQuaker is out now through Magnetic Eye Records in CD, vinyl, and digital. Ruby the Hatchet is on a mini tour right now, bookending with shows opening for Candlemass. See them whenever you can, and make sure you get to Las Vegas this year for Psycho Las Vegas as their performance is certain to be a highlight.

Links.

Website, http://www.rubythehatchet.com/

Bandcamp, https://thehatchet.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/rubythehatchet

Magnetic Eye Records, https://us.merhq.net/us/Artists/Ruby-The-Hatchet/Ruby-the-Hatchet-Live-at-Earthquaker.html

Ruby The Hatchet at EarthQuaker, https://www.earthquakerdevices.com/ruby-the-hatchet

© Wayne Edwards

Ruby The Hatchet, Live At EarthQuaker (Magnetic Eye Records 2022)

T-Shirt Inventory, Ebb Tide

The T-Shirt Inventory Project 2020 has been a lot of fun. There are still other shirts lying around here that didn’t catch a wave. I wouldn’t call them a wave, exactly. Let’s call them a tide. An ebb tide. Here are a few shirts that did not appear in the eight waves that came before.

And just in case you are interested, here are direct links to each wave so you can check out the shirts that rolled ashore.

First Wave

Second Wave

Third Wave

Fourth Wave

Fifth Wave

Sixth Wave

Seventh Wave

Eighth Wave

© Wayne Edwards.

T-Shirt Inventory, Ebb Tide