Ruby the Hatchet – Planetary Space Child

Lightning truly has struck again.

Ruby the Hatchet is one of the best psychedelic rock bands out there today. Their 2015 album Valley of the Snake was my favorite record of that year. Seeing them in concert four times that year and hearing their illustrious numbers being performed right in front of me solidified my love for that LP and the band. Everything on that album was top notch: the songwriting, performances, the trippiness, and the beauty of it all. Needless to say, I was excited for their follow-up. So the question is: did lightning strike twice?

Right of the bat, the group added a spacey vibe this time over top the occult/spiritual themes of Valley of the Snake. The album art is absolutely wonderful and the main figure looks like she’s holding a cosmic bowling ball. It represents the sound so well. “A Tear in Space and Time” is an excellent primer on the album. It lets you know right away what you’re getting yourself into: hypnotizing keys, adventurous guitar playing, with an overall forward-driving force. It leads into the title track, which is a show stopper. It has this epic sci-fi vibe that can only be cool. Jillian Taylor once again proves to be a fantastic singer, guiding the soundscape elegantly. The melodies on this track are catchy and powerful as hell, and the harmonies really accentuate them. I’m going to have to put this track on my playlist for traveling the universe. “Killer” follows and is self-descriptive. The interplay between Sean Hur‘s keys and Johnny Scarps‘ guitar is awesome. I can’t help but bop my head to this number. They go for a faster tempo on “Pagan Ritual” but it continues the winning streak on the album. I can’t help but think of going through hyperspace in Star Wars with the first half of this track. The music just sounds like pure energy sometimes. The second half changes it up and becomes really jammy, utilizing some interesting percussion.

“The Fool” slows it down a bit in the beginning. It starts with an mellow, yet ominous bass line, seguing into the laid back yet driving track. “Symphony of the Night” is next and is one of the best tracks on the record. Similar to “The Fool,” it has a very gentle start, incredibly beautiful really. It seamlessly transforms into a really dark song. It evokes “Tomorrow Never Comes” from their previous album, though not as overtly cataclysmic. The soundscape gets really busy and the main riff is doomy as hell. The energy and scale are grand in this stand-out track. “Gemini” switches gears a bit. It sounds like a genuine hard rock tune from the early ’70s you’d hear on the radio. The bouncy vibes provide a nice contrast to “Symphony of the Night”. The albums concludes with “Lightning Comes Again,” which also has a really sweet mellow intro. A third of the way through, the track picks up speed, and gets even better in the final third. The band plays a really groovy lick, while Jillian repeats “Lightning will come again”. It has this impeccable swing that is so much fun.

The final track answered my question at the top: lightning truly has struck twice. This LP represents everything I love about this psychedelic rock revival we’ve seen in the last few years in tandem to the stoner/doom metal scene. Unless something comes around in the next few months that totally blows my mind, this will also probably be my favorite album of this year. It’s amazing to see a band come out with an album that matches the quality of their last release, but also go in a slightly different direction too. Ruby the Hatchet deserve a much larger audience. A lot of their songs are really accessible sonically, they just need more exposure. I hope they do with the marvelous Planetary Space Child.

Track List:
1. A Tear in Space and Time
2. Planetary Space Child
3. Killer
4. Pagan Ritual
5. The Fool
6. Symphony of the Night
7. Gemini
8. Lightning Comes Again

Ruby the Hatchet is:
Jillian Taylor – Vocals
Johnny Scarps – Guitar
Lake Muir – Bass
Owen Stewart – Drums, Vocals
Sean Hur – Organ

More Ruby the Hatchet:

About Spencer (148 Articles)
Spencer Maxwell is a filmmaker and devoted metalhead. His favorite genres are heavy and doom metal, with his top bands being Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Candlemass, Pentagram, and Saint Vitus.

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