In the ongoing collapse of our collective attention span, the modern indie band at the 5th-album mark draws closer to endangered species status. Rarer still are bands who have managed to maintain the same integrity of creative purpose as Frontier Ruckus.
Enter the Kingdom, their 5th and most lush record to date, serves as an almost desperate invitation into the band’s most recurrent setting: the suburban American household. It is immediately apparent, however, that the emphasis this time is not so much on idyllic nostalgia but the very real and present tense disintegration of a personal kingdom once thought permanent.
We are thrust into stained living rooms where dads search for work on Craigslist, carports prowled by drunken ex-spouses returning with dubious motives, mega church rec rooms marked by lust and disrepair.
Songwriter Matthew Milia has explained the album as a rather literal depiction of his father losing his job and relying on disability checks to retain a tenuous grasp on his childhood home. The specificity with which this is conveyed to the listener is harrowing at times, though never in full abandonment of a dark and balancing sense of humour.
Well-educated, literary-inclined American songwriters are hardly thin on the ground, but Frontier Ruckus’s Matthew Milia’s poetic inclination always sets him apart.
Full of muted desperation, Milia conjuring a less-than-cosy world of strip malls, Prozac and missed opportunities with humour and pathos…
A band at the top of their game, primed and ready for discovery by a whole new audience…
At 14 years old, Ruby Boots—real name Bex Chilcott—left a conflicted home in Perth, Western Australia to do gruelling work on pearling boats, and she hasn’t stopped migrating since. Her nomadic streak has taken her around the world, and eventually to Nashville, TN.
Don’t Talk About It charts this drifter’s odyssey, tattered passport in hand. Behind her commanding and versatile voice, sharp guitar playing, and adept song writing, Ruby Boots confidently manoeuvres past the whirlwinds life has tossed on her occasionally lost highway. It’s an album of hope, breakthrough, and handling the unknown challenges around the next bend.