Reuben - We Should Have Gone To University
This is the last hurrah from recently defunct emo metallers Reuben and with 71, count ‘em, tracks on offer you can imagine how much quality control was going on when this collection of singles, demos and live tracks was being compiled. Hell, the band have even been moved to boast rest assured that we filled up all three discs until it was physically impossible to get any more on there. I don’t think, therefore, that I need labour the point that this is really a collection solely for fans distraught by the loss of this band of part-timers who, on this evidence, were, like Forest Green Rovers, never going to get past a metaphorical first round proper of the FA Cup. That triumph, for Reuben, came in the form of a career-defining performance on the main stage at the 2007 Download festival, captured here in all its grimy glory on the accompanying DVD.
One only has to look at the wry title We Should Have Gone To University to deduce that this is a nostalgic admission of defeat from a band who spent 8 years not quite breaking out of the cult hopefuls bracket. Truth be told the failure is not altogether surprising as there’s very little here to distinguish the band from a host of similarly earnest boys with loud guitars and a penchant for synthetic over production. The crunching guitars of tracks like the considered Scared of the Police, of which there are three versions in this collection, show signs of promise but not even their dry humour, most evident on Christmas is Awesome, is enough to save this set from descending into tedium fairly quickly. Put simply, there’s little justification for any band to release a 71 track collection, let alone one that imploded due to lack of interest. Doff your cap to their endeavours but maybe save your pennies for another day.