What do you get when you take the fast-paced manic intensity of punk rock, add the a little southern blues, and top it off with a heaping portion of art rock? RTB2 have tried their best to find out and in many ways they succeeded. The Texas duo’s second album is a masterful combination of the aforementioned styles plus a whole lot more. RTB2 pay homage to their influences while adding a unique spin on those styles and creating a hard rock album that shines at times. In this collection of songs, there are great rhythms, frequent pace changes, forceful riffs, and creepy undertones. The album’s greatest success is in its ability to take these elements and combine them to produce a first rate rock record.
The album begins with the heavily distorted and riff-driven piece “Wire to the Walls,” a song that sounds like a combination of the Strokes, the Knack’s “My Sharona” and a twist of Tennessee twang. Immediately, the band is able to make the first of many stylistic shifts, moving from hard, fast-paced rock to the organ-driven, melodious “God Will Be the One to Blame.” The song that follows, “Cool in the Dark” is a confusing and creepy track which is all over the place, never really settling on what it wants to be. The powerful and exciting sounds we have come to expect return with “Goon,” another distortion based hard rock track. The lyrics instantly evoke images of Jethro Tull’s ominous ”Aqualung.” The album’s best track, “Words Where Hands Cannot Go” is a catchy blues infused anthem with punk undertones. Through this track, RTB2 truly perfect the art of garage rock.
RTB2 take all the sounds of their influences and mix it up into a collective soup of fantastic sounds. Altogether the album ranges from pop punk to hard rock to blues to country. While their influences may be evident, they truly thrive in the originality department, creating a sound all their own while not forgetting where they came from.
MP3: RTB2 “Hands Where Words Cannot Go”