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AAA Battery: Year Of The Woman

Album Review

Canadian mischief-maker completes prog-pop pyramid.

Making his debut with 1995’s Modes Of Transportation Vol.1, Canadian maverick Spookey Ruben has attracted a cult following with a succession of strikingly accomplished and eccentric albums, all of which sound like nothing else and in a fairer world would’ve been multi-million sellers.

He’s worked with Ariel Pink, Eric Matthews and Esthero, established his own Dizzy Playground series of surreal YouTube vignettes and generally refused to be cowed by his undeserved obscurity. For his latest trick, he has joined a band, a move which looks set to gain him the wider recognition he so richly deserves. 

AAA Battery is the baby of San Francisco’s Joe Maydak (bass) and Chicago’s Fred Jeske (guitar/drums) whose request that Spookey add his distinctive vocals to one track was countered by the suggestion that he sing on the whole album. 

The Toronto-based musician’s melodic sensibility is firmly imprinted on these pocket-sized prog-pop epics. Jeske’s equally impressive guitar work is firmly in the vein of Alex Lifeson and Andy Summers, and each song here is a finely wrought mini-masterpiece, making Year Of The Woman a concise and infinitely replayable debut.

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