In 2007 Jester Jack Band was born but three years later the band would change their name to Rubix Wheel. I’m not exactly sure why they changed their name but in the long run it’s the music that matters. The band is comprised of Jack O'Handley (guitars/vocals), Paul Kish (drums), Kendall Denton (bass) and Josh Sowders (keyboards).
They recently released an album entitled Sky's the Limit in which they present eleven well-balanced songs. The most obvious comparison is to the band Phish but not the Phish who jam out for thirty minutes pulling off technical wizardry that is hard to comprehend for mere mortals. It’s comparable to Phish when they try to write pop songs and Trey Anastasio attempts to sing. There is no denying that O'Handley has similar idiosyncratic nuances that bear resemblance to Anastasio.
The band seems to prefer a limited palette of sounds and tones. For example, the guitars are clean and never heavily distorted and the colors within the bass and drums sound pretty similar from song to song. Upon my first listen there weren't any songs that stuck out to me as clear highlights. Just hit play and they will settle in a groove that bobs and weaves across the eleven songs.
“Camera” is an upbeat, bouncy pop song where you can practically picture a number of toasted hippies dancing to it. It’s a groovy track and does contain a pretty rad guitar solo - no distortion needed. The songs start to bleed into one another after that. “Planet B,” “Coconut Candy” and “Mellow Dreams” are basically interchangeable. The delivery and overall vibe feel a bit too similar. “Island Song” is a bit more distinct and it does have a Hawaii luau thing going on. “The Lot” stood out to me because it lacked that upbeat Phish type groove. Rubix Wheel embraces a bit of melancholy but even at this slow of a tempo they try to create a little dance for the hippies.
The record quality wasn’t bad but certainly could have been better. It suffers from a muddy low end and the ound of the overall mix sounds narrow at times. If you like one song on Sky's The Limit I can bet you that you will enjoy the whole thing. Give it a spin and see if you dig these crunchy grooves.
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