Ruskabank - "I Don't Think You Hear Me Though"
Noisome Records

I would like to start off by saying I’m a lazy bastard. I’ve had this CD since, oh January, and here I am reviewing it in October. However, this means I’ve had plenty of time to listen to this album, and gain insight into its every subtle nuance. So, that being said, I would like to offer the following commentary on the new Ruskabank: gosh golly gee, it’s darn good.

Okay, so I can do better than that. Sorry.

This album takes the amazing This Took Some Time, Ruska’s previous album, and absolutely smokes it. While that album was rather good, IDTYHMT is a definate step in the right direction for this band of Little Apple boys. Ruska’s new album take the ska-soul sound and further refines it, to the point of sublimation. This is as good as ska gets.

Ruska's ska sound embraces elements of soul and pop that makes it appeal to a wider audience. I know people who have a general distaste for ska - and yet they really enjoy Ruskabank, ‘cause their songs are catchy as hell. “Give It Up” and the title track were in my head for days after I first heard them.

Also, on this CD, several of the band members get a chance to show off their talents. Jamie, the trumpet player, sings on two tracks and offers a nice addition to lead singer Dave Spiker’s voice. On this release, Spiker shows greater range, especially on “Wrong Again,” in which he shows more melody than previously heard. Also, the mixing job on this album seems to be better than the last one, as Donnyves’ keyboard work comes through much more clearly.

While this album is a growth piece for Ruskabank, there is *still* the issue of the disposable instrumental track. This time around, the track is “Feel Da Bern.” While really fun to dance to live, on disc, it just invites pressing the “Next Track” button on your CD player. Other than that one issue, this CD is absolutely a standout in the local music field. An amazing combination of ska, pop, and soul, it has something for everyone.

I Don’t Think You Hear Me, Though is another definate hit for Noisome Records. I love each and every song, and get a big fat grin on my face every time I throw this disc in the CD player.