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Columbia band Ruby Lane’s new album takes listeners to heart of rock


Locals Ruby Lane chart a course for the heart of rock ‘n’ roll on their recent album “Trains, Spaceships and Automobiles.”

Sometimes the ride is fast and dangerous, with the band offering a loose, liberated mix of Clapton-esque blues and modern garage rock. More often, Ruby Lane takes the scenic route, its rock ‘n’ roll flame burning slow and hot.

Other than a tossed-off intro track, the shortest cut here is just under 4 and 1/2 minutes; several songs run around 7 to 8 minutes long. The band stretches out into those spaces, enjoying the room to settle into a groove, build up to cathartic climaxes and, occasionally, wander off into thick growth.

While not a Beatles cover, the first proper track — “Get Back” — leans into the more hirsute, hippie-fied side of George Harrison’s later catalog. The tune benefits from a confident, gliding forward motion. The production here reveals a band that loves finding its flow — and really loves its guitar pedals.

The Ruby Lane emblem

As the song winds up, Ruby Lane peeks over the fence at lush lawns belonging to its jam-band neighbors, then stays in its own yard — for the moment. 

Next up, “Words” evokes the spirit of early-aughts hitmakers Jet (“Are You Gonna Be My Girl”), uniting garage-rock grit, stadium swagger and an appropriately raspy vocal lead. On an album that emphasizes feel, “Words” might house its most satisfying groove.

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The next three cuts — “7 Legged Spider,” “T.S.A.” and “Corona” — create something of a triptych. More free-form than their predecessors, these songs will satiate listeners who dig the loose-limbed side of rock and frustrate those interested in a more driving, direct attack.


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