Mark Bram aka Ruby Topaz has a long and colourful history with the Rhode Island music scene, that stretches all the way back to the 1980’s when their single Why/ The Sack had some international success, and was played on the radio in England, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Belgium.
The name first came about while discussing birth stones, Mark’s being topaz and when someone suggested ruby to go along with it, Mark’s reaction was “ooohh. Ruby Topaz…like Alice Cooper, except more glamorous” and so Ruby Topaz was born.
Rabbit Hole is the band’s latest album and was released on 09/11/2022.
The music of Ruby Topaz was once described by a critic as ‘subtly savage melodic metal’ but with influences coming from a huge range of artists including The Beatles, The Monkees, and Hermans Hermits to Queen, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Alice Cooper, David Bowie, Frank Zappa, Jeff Beck, and The Mahavishnu Orchestra, and creating a blend of pop, rock, glam, metal, blues and fusion, it really is hard to put this band into any one particular genre.
The album has a classic rock base from which to build from and this it does in abundance. Classic rock riffs are thrown at us left, right and centre with guitar solos that expertly executed. There is a hint of blues in the guitar work, never be a bad thing in my opinion and distortion on the guitars also gives the album a psychedelic vibe.
The drumming is raw in places yet energetic in others, with lots of crashing cymbals and pounding bass drums and the rhythm section is spot on.
Mark plays nearly all of the instruments and does most of the singing on this album, with the only assistance coming from Steve D’andrea and Stephen Fassbender on the rhythm section and backing vocals and this shows just what a virtuoso musician he is. His vocals are somewhat quirky but I think this adds to the charm of the album and the backups provide a vocal contrast that is awesome to hear.
The album as a whole is very eclectic and covers a wide range of musical influences. This is not always easy to do but Mark has carried it off to perfection, using his obvious talent, song writing abilities and vocal and musical capabilities.
The album is a mix of fourteen new songs and tracks that were written throughout the years that were never released, and is a rock masterpiece. Plug this into your speakers and you will be transported on a musical journey that travels throughout the decades and across the genres, a nostalgic trip through time that still sounds fresh and up to date now.
This is a great album that is easy to listen to but also one you will want to listen to again and again!
1) Rabbit Hole
2) Dream Running
3) You’re Still Running
4) D’s Song (I’m Falling In Love Again)
5) Be My Love
6) Brand New Love
7) Come Back To Me
8) Straight Ahead
9) Your Love
10) Thanks For Nothing
11) How Will I Know
12) Schizophrenic Law
13) To The Top
14) Save Me
This review is the property of The Metal Asylum