Rubberbear are a of mini-supergroup of sorts, bringing together New Order's bassist, Tom Chapman, with ex Fall member Steve Trafford. As their delicately composed single "Let's Move Somewhere Else" attests, the duo's sound is softer and less invasive than the post-punk ruckus that brought them together. Their new EP, 'Other Side of the Fence', continues to honour this attention to detail.
7/10 Clinton Staff review, 17 September 2014
As Dave Simpson’s book ‘The Fallen’ describes, odd things happen to ex Fall members. They end up in all walks of life but rarely seen in any kind of musical project that meets with much success. Here’s a contender though. Steve Trafford has hooked up (no pun intended) with New Order sidesman Tom Chapman to produce an album of enjoyably melancholic northern rock music. Opener ‘My Addiction’ breezes along in a sea of motorik beats and melodic guitars and yes, some Peter Hook-like bass. Its good and is kind of like a lighter version of Interpol with the weight of the world off their backs.
‘Let’s Move Somewhere Else’ takes a while to get its claws into you but once the chorus hits it reveals itself as a fine and tuneful rain drenched pop. Its hard to not think of New Order as the insidious melodies creep into your brain. Its slick but has a rain drenched melancholy that also reminds me of 80’s dreamers Its Immaterial. Similarly on the flip side ‘World of Moderninity’ sounds very much like something that could have been made in the late 80’s, not the trendy/retro/nostalgia speckled 80’s of many of todays all to knowing outfits. More that it has that late 80’s/early 90’s feel of where modern pop met electronica as with Bernard Sumner and Johnny Marr's Electronic project. Closer ‘Elements’ confirms this as a very ‘Manchester’ sound, with a few baggy beats into the equation edging towards Elbow territory. Its a retro-leaning record but enjoyable. Let's hope Mark E Smith doesn’t eat Trafford before he can enjoy the fruits of his labours.
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- Other Side Of The Fence by Rubberbear
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