Glasgow band The Rhubarb have honed an intoxicating dark and doomy stoner rock sound that fuses dual vocals with deliciously heavy fuzzy riffs.
The quartet of Hannah White (vocals and bass), Seán Maguire (vocals), Michael McConville (guitar) and Jack Donnelly (drums) first formed back in 2015 when they are Riverside Music College in Glasgow. They’ve since set about concocting the “drugged out riffs and trance inducing rhythms” that form their brand of stoner doom.
As Hannah tells us: “We often say that we are like if Fleetwood Mac moved in with Black Sabbath. Riffs, harmonies and catchy choruses with doom sludge is what we know best!”
Our first taste of the band was the not-very-Christmassy sounding song they released just before Christmas, Drag Me To Hell. It opens up with a filthy low-tuned riff that drops into palm-muted guitars and Seán’s opening vocals in an engaging verse. That continues into a fun chorus of Seán’s vocals repeated by Hannah “Into your arms, I feel your power, your burning fire, Takes me down” supported by big doomy drawn-out guitars and rolling cymbals.
A chugging guitar kicks in through a more upbeat second verse, which feeds into another dark chorus. A cool guitar solo takes over alongside a support of lively drums then drops into Hannah’s high-pitched vocals, which feeds into a final blast of the chorus. And the track goes out in heavy fashion with a smash of fast-paced guitars and drums.
On the track, Hannah told us: “Drag me to hell is a very riff filled, stoner doom track which is powerful in every way about personal health. Part time suicide without spoiling too much is what I call a punk meets doom metal vibe haha. Very political and quite catchy too which will get everyone going in their living rooms. We wrote it about Politicians and about greed, poverty and money. We hope everyone enjoys it when it’s released!”
More recently, the band released an edited version of Part-Time Suicide, also from last year’s debut EP Black Sun. It launches straight into the engaging dual vocals chorus “Part time suicide, decriminalise cyanide Legalise free love, demons haunt me from above.” Chugging guitars and crashing cymbals continue as Hannah’s haunting vocals “Mass of power they have, Like animals control all they can, Preying and pounding on those who are weak, Get me out of here, I ran, I ran!”
That flows straight into a second verse of intoxicating, drawn-out, meandering vocals, which feeds into a chorus supported by big booming guitars and the relentless cymbals. The pace suddenly picks up with faster riffs and drums alongside dual vocals “No more hatred, no more order, no more lies, I’m not terrified.” A delicious riff of drawn-out guitars then a flurry of fast notes drops into a funky little pause for breath before a final chorus. Check it out in the video below:
The Rhubarb sound has been inspired by an eclectic and diverse range of bands and genres, from Black Sabbath, Electric wizard and Uncle Acid to The Deadbeats, Hawkwind and The Beatles.
And on their music writing approach, Hannah explains: “We are a very heavy lyric-based band, we like to write about a whole wide range of topics such as sex, drugs, alcohol, politics and mental health. We also like writing about films, especially horror films. It’s great fun to talk about things that mean a lot to us through singing and through playing music.”
There’s plenty more to come from The Rhubarb this year, including recording, a showcase gig as and when such a thing is possible, and more.