Ruder Than You | Creation Sounds

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Rock: Ska Reggae: Ska Moods: Mood: Party Music
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Creation Sounds

by Ruder Than You

Ska and reggae flavored 5th CD classic from the Philadelphia-based rude boys.
Genre: Rock: Ska
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Praise Havoc
2:46 $0.99
2. Baby Tonight
2:45 $0.99
3. Creation Sounds
2:39 $0.99
4. Faith
3:33 $0.99
5. Yo Ho Down
2:43 $0.99
6. Brand New Day
3:54 $0.99
7. Give The People What They Need
3:06 $0.99
8. The Witch
3:53 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Eight song CD of straight-up rudeboy ska and dub roots reggae from these seasoned masters of the upbeat.



to write a review

Sara Cooper –

Ruder Than You - The Unsung Epitome of Modern Ska
Ruder Than You is the unsung epitome of modern ska. Although the most popular subgenre of third wave ska is ska-punk, Ruder Than You has avoided this kind of exclusivity. Obviously taking some influence from punk, they also have derived their sound from the more traditional dancehall, rocksteady, and even hip hop, funk, and jazz, although they are most known for their unique cover of Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid.” And with Creation Sounds, their most recent, admittedly off the radar, release, all these elements are as prevalent as ever.

Creation Sounds begins with the instrumental “pRaise HaVoC.” I found this to be an interesting placement for an instrumental track, as they normally come later in an album. It’s actually a clever move, considering instrumentals placed later are more likely to be overlooked, or even passed off as filler. Which is often a ridiculous thought in itself, as it is in this case, because “pRaise HaVoC” is an excellent track, showing off each instrumentalist’s capabilities in a fine way. Characterized by its wah bass guitar, scratch effects, and varying styles of electric guitar, it manages to bring together the funk, punk, and hip hop influences in an appropriate intro song.

“Baby Tonight” takes a much more third wave typical approach, but with much more focus on brass. With its quick verses, and considerably catchier chorus and choppy style of vocals, it’s reminiscent of the now defunct Mephiskapheles. From there, it leads into the title track, which gives the listener a large dose of the band’s jazz influence, with the heavy brass presence. That is, until the electric guitar takes over with an excellent rock influenced solo. It’s actually quite interesting how the band manages to mix so many styles not only from song-to-song, but within each one. It takes talent.
“Brand New Day” also features a sound reminiscent of Mephiskapheles, with its heavier sound, starting out much like a metal song, constantly transitioning in and out of this style, even with a small touch of hip hop towards the middle. There are also other familiar sounds within this album, however. Much of this album is comparable to the very influential 2-Tone era band, The Specials, especially the upbeat, but still very relaxed, melody of “Give the People What They Need.” Even the effect-laden “The Witch” is reminiscent of The Specials’ hit, “Ghost Town”, although with less mystique.
Easily the main flaw with Creation Sounds is its short length. Sure, it’s not as good as Horny For Ska, often considered the band’s best release to date, but it’s an outstanding cut of pure ska that mixes both modern and early ska characteristics. With eight tracks, adding up to literally less than a half hour, however, it leaves any ska fanatic wanting more. It features great musicianship, as well as some excellent hooks. The mixes are also commendable, as ska remains to be one of the more difficult genres to mix. In that respect, I would only criticize some of the instances of the backing vocals, where they weren’t blended as well as they could have been. Naturally, this isn’t a “something for everyone” release, as ska tends to be a hit or miss style in itself. But any current fan of Ruder Than You, or at the very least the genre, is sure to appreciate this.

Alex -

Outstanding Musicianship
There’s a definite sense of early No Doubt about ‘Creation Sounds’ which probably isn’t all that surprising as Ruder Than You was cutting teeth around about the same time as the Orange County world-beaters. Yes, the Philadelphia outfit has been around for donkey’s years (first starting out in 1989) and has somehow defied a multitude of obstacles to keep the whole damn thing going. It shouldn’t come as a bombshell then to find that the band is doing things the way it wants to.

‘Creation Sounds’ is certainly no one-dimensional release. Overall, there tends to be a relaxed ska vibe but there are moments where Ruder Than You is definitely willing to mix it up a little and throw in some manic pacing and a little bit of aggression. Opening instrumental, “pRaise HaVoC”, is the first example of this. It’s a mixture of tempos and focus points, a playful jam if you will. And then the full body of work takes the baton and runs with it.

“Baby Tonight”, a frenzied Voodoo Glowskulls-esque chunk of skacore, sits happily alongside the title track, a much more chilled-out offering. Similarly, the third wave offensive that is “Brand New Day” is sandwiched between “Yo Ho Down” (upstrokes a plenty but with a relaxed feel) and “Give the People What They Want” (a 2 Tone number complete with sax solo). And then there’s closer, “The Witch”, essentially a roots reggae track. Basically, styles are running rife yet this doesn’t come across as a fragmented release. Everything sounds just as it should.

If there’s a drawback to ‘Creation Sounds’ it’s that there isn’t really a homerun of a song. The musicianship is outstanding, and each track is intrinsically notable but no one song really jumps out and grabs your ear lugs. The record is certainly striking as a whole but it’s probably not one for the casual ska listener. Still, Ruder Than You most likely made this record for Ruder Than You so such a snag becomes mute. In this case, what the band describes as “Ska Philly Stylee” impresses.

Jerry Actually - !upstarter Punk Reviews

Pretty Damn Pleased...
You know what I miss? Ska. Maybe because it was foundational in my youth and I pine for the long gone days, or more likely because ska is full on awesome, I miss ska. Thankfully I have a mailbox that occasionally gets laced with some of the good stuff. What do I have here (hear) you might ask. Well what I have is a brand new CD, Creation Sounds from Ruder Than You. This Philly ska band has been bustin’ it since back ’89 at Penn State. Eight great tracks of pick it up, dit dit dit, horn laden ska. For the uninitiated, ska music was invented by future robots that came back to the past disguised as Dutch colonists to the island for Grenada. After they invented the bicycle they grew bored and started ska bands. Ok, no really, there is a reasonably apt history of Ska on Wikipedia. The jazz and calypso roots are unmistakable on Creation Sounds as is the love of music. Honestly I’m at a small loss for words, but I want to bring you the honest truth (in so far as I perceive it) I’m not as stoked on this as I would be a new MU330 disc, but I’m pretty damn pleased. Support your local ska band ladies and gents, and local or not, support ska by (buy) getting a copy of Creation Sounds new to you from Ruder Than You!

Glen Smyth

I don’t know how Ruder Than You were never on my ska radar
This review from Australia's Dizzybeat >>
Overall: An impressive album that sits well in the contemporary setting, while still having strong connections to America’s most popular period for ska music.

For fans of: Ska acts who offer genre variety and good musicianship, but know their main job is to make people move on the dance floor.

I don’t know how Ruder Than You were never on my ska radar – they’ve been together off and on since 1989 and have released a bunch of records including 2 on the most prominent ska record label of the 90s, Moon Ska Records.
The band, hailing from Philadelphia, have a sound that sits quite strongly in the USA third wave, but with the benefit of different influences and time to hone their craft, something which many bands lacked around 1998 in the USA. If I had to find another reference point, bands like Let’s Go Bowling or even Moon Ska’s Bucket Hingley’s own band The Toasters come to mind. However, Ruder Than You are probably a little harder to pin down than these other two groups because of their wider mix of ska, rootsy reggae with some dancehall and punk influences.

The bass driven intro instrumental pRaise HaVoc (as it reads on the CD cover) reaches a crescendo, leading into the rather horny thrash metal-like (at least in the chorus) Baby Tonight and the upbeat Creation Sounds, where saxophonist Doug Dubrosky really shows what he can do. The next track is Faith, which has a strong groove and a nice enough sentiment (even if I disagree about the source of the sentiment).

The last two songs of the album are the highlights; with the kicked back Give the People What They Need showing how well a simple upbeat ditty can work and The Witch making it clear Ruder Than You’s talents are broad with a minor key rootsy number.

Favourite track: Give the People What They Need

Bryan Kremkau -

Ruder Than You still know how to bring the ska!
Philly ska band Ruder Than You are back with a new album! I haven’t really checked out their newer releases (“Philly Stylee,” “God Ghetto’s EP”) all that much but I was eager to listen to this album. Their first 2 releases are amongst my favorites from Moon Ska Records. “Creation Sounds” features 8 tracks in all; mixing ska, reggae, jazz, funk together nicely.
The opening track “pRaise HaVoC” is a decent intro that’s very funk-based. The band returned to their classic ska/rocksteady roots with this album and it shows in the next few tracks. “Baby Tonight” is a fast ska track that will get those kids dancing at the club. Doug’s sax playing hasn’t sounded better in my opinion. The title track “Creation Sounds” is another example of his awesome sax playing. The song “Yo Ho Down” is an okay song but I really don’t like the “Hooo” background singing. It just starts to get annoying after awhile. If that was taken out, I would have liked the track more. The last 3 songs are slower ska/reggae style songs which I also dug.
While I don’t think this album isn’t as strong as their first 2 releases, this is still worth listening to if you liked Ruder Than You in the past. Support your local ska and check out Ruder Than You when they play!
Bottom Line: Ruder Than You still know how to bring the ska!
Notable Tracks: Baby Tonight, Creation Sounds, Brand New Day