Planetary Space Child by Ruby The HatchetRelease date: August 25, 2017
Label: Tee Pee Records
Ruby The Hatchet have been stalwarts of the occult psychedelic doom scene for a while now. Having signed to Tee Pee Records, their previous album Valley Of The Snake garnered enough attention to make them ones to watch within a crowded genre. There’s something of a victory call about Planetary Space Child, their follow up to that album, as they aim to make good on that promise, and for the most part they do.
With a style that veers to the more classic side of rock, as Hammond organs vie for space over crunchy riffs, it is up to vocalist Jillian Taylor to summon up the occultisms abound in their music. Weaving a spell over the course of the album, she brings an elusive quality to the music which forms a bedrock for the more meat and potatoes moments, of which there are a few. On the whole though, the band throw in a wide mix of progressive riffs, harmonies and riffs to keep any self respecting rocker happy, making this album certainly one that stands out from the crowd.
Highlights are the fantastic opening of ‘Planetary Space Child’, a song which takes in an elongated opening, some great harmonies, and more than a dose of early Queen about it. The following ‘Killer’ is one of those classic rockers that sticks in your mind with a great shouty chorus enlivened by the organ playing over some sludgy riffs. It’s a confident two shot of tracks which shows exactly where the band are right now, but also points to a progressive edge which they then explore in following tracks.
Shifting the tempo down for ‘Pagan Ritual’ spoils the mood a little although it’s worth it just to hear the band stretch themselves. It’s here that you can start to spot little chinks in their armour though, as any attempt to bring in little subtleties get lost behind all the bluster. That’s no bad thing, but it does tend to wear thin as the album goes on, leaving you wishing they would just tone it down a little bit. They actually do this on final track ‘Gemini’ but by then you feel more than a little weary and your attention may begin to drift.
These are minor criticisms though and for all its blustery charm, Planetary Space Child is a great rock album. Later songs such as ‘Symphony Of The Night’ offer a way forward for the band with its progressive energy finding time to create some really interesting moments. Ruby The Hatchet are a band who are not afraid to stick to what they know and within their confines they are a tremendous band. They even have little ear-worm moments that stick in your head, making this album one you keep returning to just to satisfy the itch for a great chorus and riffs to head-bang to. A minor triumph for the band, you get the feeling that this may be just a stepping stone to bigger and better things.