The Jack Rubies

Fascinatin' Vacation

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The Jack Rubies open their debut album, Fascinatin' Vacation, with a bundle of promise. The first track, "Be With You," is an uneasy hodgepodge of turbulent percussion, menacing vocals, and slashing guitar riffs. The song is radio dynamite, ready to combust over the airwaves with its nervous energy. With "Be With You," the Jack Rubies leap from the gates like rabid canines. Unfortunately, Fascinatin' Vacation is decidedly toothless. "Lobster" is an uninspired Velvet Underground tribute; the band assimilates the Velvet Underground's droning guitars, but the lyrics lack Lou Reed's seedy vision. The cover of America's "A Horse With No Name" is pointless; it doesn't fit within the album's context, and if the Jack Rubies were trying to evoke chuckles, they fail by making it even worse than the original. Desperately groping for ideas, the Jack Rubies sing vapid tunes about Elvis Presley and John F. Kennedy. "Falling" pilfers Echo and the Bunnymen's reverberating guitars; it's a toe-tapper, but the Jack Rubies' second attempt at an Echo and the Bunnymen knock-off, "Diamond Mine," is rather bland. Other than "Be With You," "Falling," and "Over My Head," the Jack Rubies simply didn't have enough material to make Fascinatin' Vacation a filler-free siesta.

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