1 Apr 2023

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The Ruby Suns - Sea Lion Album Review

18 Dec 2012 // A review by Chris Chick

I entered this assignment blind and was pleasantly surprised by what I encountered. This the second album by The Ruby Suns. I felt myself being time warped to the 1960’s during the drug induced experimental musical period that included such bands as The Beatles, The Small Faces, and Donavon to name a few. Having not lived through this era I conjured up images of hippie filled rooms with smiley faces and a lust for life that was evident of the baby boomer era. Tane Mahuta caught my ear with its rasping drum and bass beat, brought alive by the melodic happy guitar rift., There Are Birds, enlightens the sense’s with its gritty bass line start, definitely a better choice for opening song of the album rather than Blue Penguin, which I felt let down the album due to its lack luster inspiration for me to want to listen on till the end, Remember brings you down a level and allows you to sit back and be taken away by the relaxing beat and soft harmonies. If you have not succumbed to the fairy dust you will on their next track, the sleepy yet gradually inspiring sounds of Ole Rinha. The final three songs encompass a beautiful ending to a very nicely put together album, with its only fault being a lack luster start

The one question all songs and albums should try to answer is ‘Can this music change, or enhance my mood’? The answer is yes, their style of music enables the listener to sit back and wind down in an almost hypnotic state but still be aware of their surroundings. My favourite song on the album is Oh Mojave, visions of blue skies and happy faces perpetrated my mind. Unfortunately Blue Penguin was not only a bad choice of opening song, but should never have got on the playlist.

I do not like to give a rating on songs or albums as there is no set criteria to base it upon. Music is so broad and subjective a rating scale can become problematic so with that said is it a buy or a no buy. A BUY.


About The Ruby Suns

Ryan McPhun was born in Ventura, California, where he was raised on a diet of sunshine and orchestrated pop music. Seismic activity along the “ring of fire” on the US coast, eventually shifted Ryan a further 88km South to Los Angeles, along with his drum kit and guitar.

Here Ryan started his first band, though he eventually grew tired of coaxing his friends away from their metal band to perform backing music for his alt pop meanderings. Fortunately, he drifted loose of the continent that spawned him and found himself in the set of islands which were some of the earliest to split off from Gondwana land (New Zealand). He discovered that much of the music he liked had survived here in the same fashion as the large flightless birds, in the absence of their natural predators.

Shortly after his arrival, he continued to develop his own music, whilst also helping out as a member of The Brunettes - who he travelled with on their latest tour supporting The Shins within the US. During this time his track Birthday On Mars was featured on a Lil Chief Records compilation (Now We Are Three), which was sold at live shows and distributed to indie stores within the US through Subpop Records. After returning to NZ, Ryan completed work on an ambitious solo album, working in his new basement studio in order to perfect his multi-layered popadelic sound.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Ruby Suns


Sprite Fountain
Year: 2017
Type: Album
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Fight Softly
Year: 2010
Type: Album
Sea Lion
Year: 2008
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Lichen Ears
Year: 2007
Type: Album
The Ruby Suns
Year: 2005
Type: Album

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