In the early 00’s, British underground rock music enjoyed a bit of a renaissance, bands the likes of Hundred Reasons, Hell Is For Heroes, Million Dead, they all started to profit from years of hard work and toil to be recognised. Also amongst their number was a Surrey 3 piece who went by the name Reuben. I first heard this album upon its release and about a year after I really got into the music of Reuben who disbanded not long after this albums completion. As the years rolled on I came to realise more and more just how much I loved the bands back catalogue and just how sorely they are missed from the landscape of British alternative music. Let me get this one out in the open now, I don’t believe Reuben will ever reform and I don’t completely believe that they should ever do so anyway because in the space of 3 albums they made an indelible mark on the underground musical landscape, a legacy any band should be proud of when that last curtain call comes. Their swan song was the amazing In Nothing We Trust. This album clearly shows a band evolving and refining their sound to almost perfection. The previous 2 albums, the astounding debut ‘Racecar Is Racecar Backwards’ & their equally excellent sophomore effort ‘Very Fast Very Dangerous’ showed a band changing and growing in confidence into something very special and in their last full length release they delivered a record to be very proud of.
Reuben was Jamie Lenman’s band, that’s not to detract from the input of bassist Jon Pearce and drummer Guy Davis but it was very much Jamie’s baby, he wrote all of their songs and practically instructed the other members on their part to play. Some maintain this is partly the reason Reuben died but with such a sure hand steering the ship, I personally can’t judge that creative decision on Jamie’s part. From the subdued opening riff of Cities On Fire blasting into a ferocious beast during its verses to change once more with a beautiful, melodic chorus almost feeling like the most fitting of eulogies for Reuben. One of the 3 singles generated on this collection, it’s a hell of a statement of intent to open an album with. Over the course of the next 10 tracks we get the almost certainly self-referential power-pop assault of Deadly Lethal Ninja Assassin with guest vocals from Frank Turner from Million Dead at that time and Paul Townsend of Hundred Reasons. There is a searing attack on the music industry in Crushed Under The Weight Of The Enormous Bullshit which from any lesser band may have felt bitter, here is feels vehemently righteous, a blistering indictment of manufactured pop & MOR rock. It is clear even to those listening to In Nothing We Trust for the first time that this album is the sound of a band at the height of their powers and possibly with bittersweet hindsight, with nothing left to lose.
In Nothing We Trust rounds up a body of work that could well be some of the most underrated and overlooked in alternative music in the early 21st century. It is an angry, incisive, at times funny and always brutality honest record that wears its damaged heart on its sleeve for all to see, very much like the man who penned it.
Reuben’s In Nothing We Trust is currently available to stream via most digital services and will be released on vinyl for the first time mid-July via Big Scary Monsters.