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The Chris Ruben Band - Parasite (Mystery Brand Records Inc)

27 May 2024

Imagine if rock music embraced the accessibility that is the trademark of all the best pop music. What if the glam scene grew up and started writing songs for a more discerning audience? What if The Beatles, The Stones, and Bowie got together and had a sonic test tube baby? Imagine if Bolan had stuck around long enough to become the grandfather of today’s pop music. Well, you don’t have to imagine, just play “Parasite,” the new one from The Chris Ruben Band. It’s all that and more.

But, if that opening missive suggests that Chris and his sonic posse are merely plundering from what has gone before or exhuming past glories, then think again. They might thread all manner of influence and inspiration from all sorts of sixties and seventies bands, and “Paradise” itself might sound a lot like a long-lost Mott The Hoople groover, but this is all about learning from the past to build a new, unique and exciting future. It’s not about where you have been, it’s about where you are at!

There is something edgy yet accessible about the song, too, something about it that cool but slightly unnerving, something fun yet subversive, too. But isn’t that what rock and roll was always about? Aren’t those the things that are missing from a lot of today’s conservative and conformist, safe and sanitised music? Maybe Chris and the gang have returned to us in the nick of time. Perhaps he is to be our musical King Arthur, our sonic Superman, perhaps he is leading the musical cavalry charge arriving just when all seemed lost to save the day. I wouldn’t put it past him!