Every Tuesday, Torontoist scours record store shelves in search of the city’s most notable new releases and brings you the best—or sometimes just the biggest—of what we’ve heard in Sound Advice.
Guitar-pop outfits may be a dime a dozen around these parts, but even still, when Ruby Coast released their new full length, Whatever This Is, as a free download last week, and we’d be lying if we said we didn’t immediately grab it.
The Aurora quintet have been teasing their full-length for a while, in the meantime honing their live show into a taut display of their frenetic instincts. When the single “Creep Me Out” was released in the summer, it was clear their work with producers Howard Bilerman (he of esteemed Canadian indie pedigree) and Brian Paulson (who doesn’t have too shabby a resume himself) wasn’t only a step up in recording quality, but a step towards a finished product that would display a more mature touch.
The results are impressive: Ruby Coast still mine the same jittery musical grounds as Born Ruffians and fellow suburbanites Tokyo Police Club, but here they’ve hit a mark all their own. The angular guitar jangle and vocal charisma of “Tuff Luck” is perhaps the best display of the indisputably authentic spirit that practically leaps off of this album; without it, Whatever This Is doesn’t deliver anything we haven’t heard before, but it’s exactly this intangible that makes it surprisingly strong.
There’s nary a miss amongst the ten tracks. “Stability” (streaming above) doesn’t really have a chorus but sounds as shiny as a radio hit nonetheless, and its non-pre-chorus goes just off the rails to rattle and wail, while “Liza Liza” hints at a sweeter warmth, the strings and excitable percussion carrying the fledgling energy into an outro that sounds purposefully restrained and suitably brief.
Whatever This Is is an album that’s quite easy to like, and from the tight performances, to the boundless energy, right down to the expert sequencing, the details make it all the better.