Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Patrick Stolley
The Ruby Suns, as a band -- which consists primarily of Ryan McPhun and Amee Robinson, are full of the kind of humidity that makes the skin as slick as the underside of a banana peel as well as peppermint-y aftershave, giving McPhun the chance to make some odd dance songs that sound as if they were spun from African beats (those are just pieces from Phil Spector and Janet Jackson songs, among many, many other things) and betrothed to the Wayne Coyne school of eccentric lyrical thinking. His words seem to drip with the influence of cocktails, with a rim of salt around their rims. They are feathered with a sprig of spearmint leaning against the downside of a glass full of mojito, as well as all of the subsequent refills. They glide along like the blades of sleighs and skate over the surface like a wintery water bug, jutting and spinning, stretching the corners to sound like The Ronettes for brief patches and then melting them aggressively to accomplish something that sounds like a drugged out wall of sound orchestrated by tree fairies and flying saucers.
It's a Dude-like collage of leisurely, aloof eloquence, operating on the laidback idea that standing in the way of whatever's going to come out next is selfish and criminal. It's a going with the flow sensation with the elements meeting in the night, when everyone else is sleeping and leaving a cluttering of footprints behind. They pour them down their throats and let the energies run through them and out when they want to pass, letting the results exist as a quilt that comes from the various tails and tangents that McPhun lets himself dance with in the privacy of his own home. There are countless moments of surprise within their songs, the likes of which are usually the ramifications of the kinds of meshings that come in hip-hop songs or the weird works of Panda Bear, Yeasayer and Animal Collective. They are tropical bursts of items being taped together for the greater mixture of gentle tones and buzzes.
It's a playful blend, one with the right balance of colors and temperaments and it's more than a small amount fun. It's almost as if some good Samaritans have taken some airplanes over the zoo and dropped samplers and bubble gum down to the animals, parachuting in slowly and landing with thuds. The crates are ripped open and utilized. The animals in the zoo have the pink gum blown out and splashed stickily across their faces and McPhun and Robinson are maybe leading them in the oddest dance party kegger that anyone could ever could throw together.
*Essay originally published October, 2008
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