The (Long-Awaited) Return of the Jedi

In the song ‘Return of the Jedi’ by Reuben, vocalist Jamie Lenman wallows “I won’t bother to make my music and I won’t bother to sing my songs,” referring to the financial pressures an underground band faces. In 2008 his words became reality when Reuben decided to go on an indefinite hiatus and haven’t reconvened since.

The good news is that Jamie Lenman is back with his new solo project simply titled Jamie Lenman. He has announced a double album called Muscle Memory due for release on November 4th. The first disc is entitled ‘Muscle’ and features an aggressive hardcore/metal sound, whilst the second side ‘Memory’ will be themed around acoustic, jazz and folk.

Reuben’s third (and last) album ‘In Nothing We Trust’ saw the band expand their post-hardcore sound, to include more acoustic work and keys, as well as almost reaching prog on tracks ‘Suffocation of the Soul’ and ‘Three Hail Marys’. ‘Muscle Memory’ is perhaps a natural progression then, allowing Lenman to explore both sides of his songwriting, similar to Opeth’s double album of the dark and heavy Deliverance juxtaposed with the clean, 70s prog-inspired Damnation.

So far one track from each half of the album has been released. ‘Fizzy Blood’ is a fierce spike of metal coming in at only 1.45 and reminds of The Dillinger Escape Plan, with hectic rhythm sections colliding with screamed vocals and dissonant chords. ‘Pretty Please’ is the complete opposite, taking influences from the worlds of folk and jazz to produce an oddly addictive, foot tapping number, leaving the chorus of “validate me oh pretty please” circulating around your head for days.

It takes a very good songwriter to not only write in several genres, but to produce excellent pieces of music that both captures the genre perfectly, but also adds something new to it. Lenman has always been a great songwriter, whether it’s the pop-punk ‘Deadly Lethal Ninja Assassin’, the acoustic ‘Good Luck’ or the laid-back rocker ‘Best Enemies’ (Although I am slightly biased, since Reuben hail from where I grew up).

Listen to both new songs here:

Recommended Reuben:

  1. ‘Return Of The Jedi’ from ‘Very Fast Very Dangerous’
  2. ‘Eating Only Apples’ from ‘Racecar Is Racecar Backwards’
  3. ‘Three Hail Marys’ from ‘In Nothing We Trust’
  4. ‘Keep It To Yourself’ from ‘Very Fast Very Dangerous’
  5. ‘A Short History Of Nearly Everything’ from ‘In Nothing We Trust’

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