Material: Ilan Rubin has quite a resume when it comes to his past musical employment. After having worked with bands Nine Inch Nails, Angels & Airwaves and a brief stint with Paramore, Rubin is showing what he’s made of as frontman and songwriter of this power rock trio.
His major influences include greats like Led Zeppelin, Queen and The Police (although he’s more hard-edged than The Police), and they inform his own songwriting, which he showcases along with exceptional musical chops. So whether a listener is there for the catchy melodies or more interested in instrumental wizardry, “there’s something for everyone,” says Rubin.
In “We Rise, We Fall,” a classic verse is followed by a memorable syncopated chorus, which helps it stand out musically and lyrically. In “Mannequin,” a relationship gone south drives home an impression of a cold-hearted partner in its striking set up and metaphorical tag line: “You’ve shown a face that I want nothing to do with. You’ve got the soul of a mannequin.”
Musicianship: The frontman is a multi-instrumentalist playing piano, bass, guitar and drums (and has recently added the cello to that list), and that made it possible for him to bring any one of those talents to previous bands; but for this show electric guitar was the choice. The other two spots— bass and drums—are filled by Daniel Rubin and King, all contributing licks and parts of arrangements that are essential to this tight presentation. Ilan Rubin delivers more than respectable rock vocals while displaying some prolific guitar work.
Performance: The set consisted of mainly wall-to-wall music with very little conversation in between songs, but it seemed appropriate for this type of outfit since much of the musical satisfaction came in the form of intricate musicianship and consummate band unity.
Stopping for incidental chatter would have broken the spell-like concentration that the music offered. This was in no way off- putting as the band displayed no attitude or arrogance. One potential, additional plus in the set would have been to include a notable cover in a similar vein, putting their own stamp on it and aligning themselves with other rock greats.
Summary: If you’re up for some great playing, solid songwriting or just a lover of classic rock music, this is a band you want to hear. Ilan Rubin’s past experience touring with well- known rock bands has given him a strong foundation and a good jumping off point for his own band.
Players: Ilan Rubin, guitar, vocals; Daniel Rubin, bass; Danny King, drums.
City: New York, NY
Photos by Ellen Woloshin