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CD REVIEW: The Ruby's - Limelight Parasite

By: Cyrus Rhodes


"amazing band from Manchester"







Artist: The Ruby’s

Album: Limelight Parasite

Label: Independent Artist

Website: http://the-rubys.bandcamp.com

Genre: Alternative Rock, Indie Rock

Sounds Like: INXS, Modern English, Death Cab for Cuties

Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 7/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: Good Times, Last Night, Ten Seconds,

Weakness: Engineering Aspects (Mixing, Mastering)


The Rubys are a 6 piece Alternative Rock band from Manchester UK. Their latest CD entitled Limelight Parasite was released in 2012. Band members include: Lee Hunter (vocals), Barry Kirkwood (Rhythm Guitar), Tat Sing Kong (Lead Guitar), Phil Winstanley (Keyboards), Mike Hamilton (Bass), and Dave Earlam (Guitar).


The CD takes off with “Last Night” a passionate guitar driven intro piece that serves up driving rock rhythm, hooky chorus against a passionate vocal presence from Hunter. This first is quite dynamic as it flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. Track 2: “Good Times” keeps things rocking with impressive rhythm guitar painted against heartfelt vocals and a grand slam chorus. Track 3 “After All” shifts gears slightly with its methodical intro, infectious groove and compelling lyrical content. The CD makes a great first impression dishing out 3 solid songs in a row. As this CD slowly unfolds I can hear influences like INXS, Death Cab for Cutie, Modern English, They Might Be Giants, and even a touch of Radiohead, the Beetles and XTC. I would classify this music as Indie-Alternative Rock but with a U.K. flair. The musicianship of everyone involved is clearly above the bar. Along the way you will notice lush instrumentation with things like impressive Guitar, Harmonies, lush harmonies, a few impressive solos built upon a think as a brick rhythm foundation. The vocal presence from Hunter is impressive. I might add he takes several risks throughout the CD indicating a strong and confident vocal ability. All songs are extremely well crafted, catchy and consistent across the board. From upbeat “Jesus Girl” to grooving “Sun” and “Echo” to slamming “ten Seconds” to invigorating “M.L.E.” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track “White Squall” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.


This is not the best mix I’ve ever heard. It lacks modern day marketability with respect to solid low end frequency and crystal clear high end clarity.  It’s just sounds weird, all over the place and lacks continuity track to track. This becomes more and more evident on really high end stereo systems and loud speakers. For future works I would strongly recommend Hunter and company hire 3 separate engineers (Recording, Mixing, Mastering) to Engineer the music. The perspective 3 separate engineers this will give the production cannot be overstated. Some songs are a bit short and are a re a bit winded. I know this is a subjective art form but I would recommend “The Rubys” make all songs at least 3.5 minutes in length. All songs over 4 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line.  


From start to finish Limelight Parasite by The Ruby’s is an impressive collection of music. The music is highly original, thought provoking, emotional and just plain entertaining to listen to. The songwriting – world class, all consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. Note for note, song for song there isn’t really weak piece on this entire CD. The writing ad playing abilities of Hunter and company are rock solid. The melodies are well crafted and the lyrical content is packed to the hilt with brilliant messages. At the end of the day The Ruby's are clearly an amazing band from Manchester.


Cyrus Rhodes