The Rubix – The Rubix EP (2012)

Share this:

Rubix, an ever-shifting amalgam led by South African songwriter and producer Matt Rod, sounds like a different band on each of the EP’s four cuts — and that’s by design. Rod, a Berklee graduate now living in Los Angeles, hand picks guest artists to be featured based on the feel of each production — hoping to take advantage of the eclectic tastes of most music lovers.

Unbound by any particular genre, The Rubix EP plays with an interesting complexity, never settling into any one genre definition — never settling any place at all for very long — though Rod’s steady hand as a do-anything studio guy helps weld it all together.

“Someone To Hold My Hand,” featuring Mario Jose, begins with the crackling surface noise of an old vinyl album, and hews completely to the singer-songwriter expectations of four decades ago. There’s a confidential, closely conveyed nature to the song, with minimal instrumentation — save for its soaring chorus — and a heart-on-the-sleeve sense of emotional availability.

“I’m No Lady,” on the other hand, sizzles with a thumping modernity. Joined this time by singer Christina Brehm and rapper Vice V, Rod indulges in every trick of the next-gen pop-song trade. With its booming beats, squiggly synths and anthematic vocals, “I’m No Lady” would be right at home, say, on a Katy Perry project. Vice V, who has a warm, approachable style, returns for the reggae-inflected “Days of Our Youth” — a touching reminiscence on youth that evolves into a flinty statement about determination.

Finally, there’s Hannah Juliano’s showcase in “Like a Record.” In yet another twist on an EP filled with them, she brings a darker, more nuanced approach to the lyric. There is a resplendently woody, folk-soul vibe running just beneath the surface on “Like a Record.” Never fear, though, the tune builds into a first-pumping chorus, similar in its way to the earlier “I’m No Lady,” and that brings everything back full circle.

To find out more, head over to http://www.mattrodmusic.com/.

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
Share this:
Close