The best music rides waves of musical dichotomy, surrounding melancholy lyrics with giddy melodies or disguising upbeat sensations in dour atmospherics. The best music cloaks its influences like a master magician, producing them at exactly the right time with exactly the right personal flourish. The best music requires multiple listens to fully absorb its incredible nuance and invention. Rubik makes the best music.
Rubik, led by vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Artturi Taira and multi-instrumentalist cohorts, have concocted the Finnish quartet’s sophomore full length, Dada Bandits, skillfully mixing Synth Pop, Prog and Indie Rock into a frenetic singularity that alternates between tremulous vulnerability and artful bombast. If The Shins, Polyphonic Spree, Sparks, Pavement and Porcupine Tree collaborated on the soundtrack for an indie film about happy junkies, it might exhibit the naive sophistication of Dada Bandits (a sound also found on their just-released Data Bandits EP, available for free download at www.rubikband.net).
“I think the sound is more loose, probably more complex,” Taira says. “For the first time, we could achieve this child-like approach to making an album.
We were trying to capture the idea of how things were when you were a kid and didn’t know too much about the world. I think it’s more playful and upbeat.”
Early notices on the album have been positive, offering a number of comparisons including Animal Collective, The Flaming Lips, TV on the Radio and The Arcade Fire. That roll call doesn’t necessarily reflect the band’s actual influences, but they understand the need to quantify their music.
“You can’t just describe music with terms or adjectives,” Taira says. “It becomes nonsense, because we all have our own meanings for those words. The other side of the coin is we have to come up with band references. Not all those are bands I’m listening to, but if you have to describe our music, that expresses the variety of the songs. It’s a compliment that you get compared to good bands rather than shit bands. I think The Flaming Lips are The Beatles of this century.”
Given the relative success that Rubik experienced with 2007’s Bad Conscience Patrol, Taira’s hope for Dada Bandits might seem restrained, but it’s honest and inarguable.
“We hope that listening to Dada Bandits brings a smile on your face,” he says, “rather than you start weeping over it.”
(Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.)