Reviewed July 2010
By The Fab Rudies
Fune1One Records: 2010
To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its Amazon.com entry.
With a completely revamped lineup since their 2006 release, and a shortened name, Oceanside's The Fab Rudies have been rebuilt as a vehicle for founder/bassist Tom Voris' daughter, Kailyn Voris. The first release from the new lineup shows a band with less of the ska underpinnings heard on "The Fabulous Rudies," one with a harder edge yet less gravitas vocally.
Voris, who is a high school teacher in Oceanside, has assembled a top-notch band to replace the earlier iteration. As heard on the six-song EP "Help Me," the rhythm section of Alec Erickson (bass) and Cody Dobbins (drums) provides a solid foundation, and guitarists Aidan Spencer and Chris Dobbins show a nice range of alt-rock vocabulary in their playing.
But if the desire to promote one's daughter is absolutely understandable, the reality is that Kailyn just isn't yet as good a singer as former lead singer Cassandra Anderson. On the repeated chorus on "Federation," for example, she sings it flat rather than using that chorus after chorus repetition to slowly build the energy and tension. And a cover of the old Smokey Robinson & the Miracles song "Tears of a Clown" never captures the sentiment, musical or emotional, inherent to that composition.
Most tellingly, on a remake of their own song "Keep on Movin'," sung by Anderson on their 2006 release, what was a dub-heavy ska anthem becomes a bit of fluffy bubblegum pop.
Kailyn has a nice set of pipes, and a nascent presence. Joining the Vans Warped Tour for the last half of the summer should help her develop that stage presence and musicianship there's certainly more than enough promise displayed here to keep local alt-rock fans intrigued as The Fab Rudies continue to develop.
Review by Jim Trageser. Jim is a writer and editor living in Escondido, Calif., and was a contributor to the "Grove Press Guide to Blues on CD" (1993) and "The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Blues" (2005).