Don't Talk About It

Ruby Boots

Bloodshot Records, 2018

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


A nomad since the age of 14 when she left home to work on pearling boats, these days Australia's Ruby Boots (real name Bex Chilcott) calls Nashville home. The drifter's sophomore album, Don't Talk About It illustrates her scrappy, unclassifiable art quite nicely. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“It's So Cruel” starts the album off perfectly with a fiery rocker where the guitars are fuzzed out and the sounds fit between glam and '70s rock. “Believe In Heaven” follows and is a more subdued affair, yet still indebted to '70s rock with strong guitar work. Title track, “Don't Talk About It” is one the best tracks here, closer to country-rock territory while highlighting Boots' robust and versatile pipes. Boots then moves into one of the more rock 'n' roll offerings: the splendid, warm Americana of “Easy Way Out,” which brings to mind the best moments of Whiskeytown, and the melancholic country tearjerker piano ballad “Don't Break My Heart Twice.”

The second half of the album is just as great. Some of Boots' most powerful work, especially the vocal focused mountain-esque “I Am A Woman,” resides here, while “I'll Make It Through,” with rising star Nikki Lane, brings us memorable vocal harmonies. The more rock-focused selections, “Infatuation” and “Somebody Else,” hone in on strong rhythms and playful guitar work. The album exits on the blues and honky-tonk sounds of “Don't Give A Damn,” which sums up the disc well – diverse, firm and uncompromising.

One of the greatest strengths of the album is that five people listening to it will probably give you five different ideas of influences and genres explored. Tom Petty is certainly an obvious one, but with traces of punk, doo-wop, and twang, it's sometimes harder to figure out if Boots has more in common with Lucinda Williams or Patti Smith. Of course, this isn’t a bad thing.

Rating: A-

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© 2018 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Bloodshot Records, and is used for informational purposes only.