Ruby the Hatchet – Planetary Space Child (Tee Pee)Friday, 11th August 2017
Look at it this way: Ruby the Hatchet may have seen their fellow female-fronted retro rock contemporaries start to become tired prancing around the same, played-out ’70s-inspired terrain that it was time to go to outer space. At least that’s how Planetary Space Child feels on the surface. While the Philadelphia-based outfit are still very much a part of said segment of vintage-loving bands, the strides made on Planetary Space Child are commendable. It feels like a new paint job was put on the beat-up van en route to Mars.
The band’s onus remains on vocalist Jillian Taylor, who has made significant strides since the band’s underwhelming 2015 Valley of the Snake. Whereas before, she felt somewhat miscast and forced into the tight spaces that is retro rock, here, the space-truckin’ vibe that permeates throughout (lots of cool keyboard work, delay, you take it from there) helps her cause as a vocalist. She’s smooth on “The Killer,” while lush and charming on “The Fool,” a cut that is perhaps the album’s finest. Elsewhere, the towering “Symphony of the Night” represents another new parcel of range for Ruby the Hatchet, complete with prowling riffs and a Sabbath-like groove.
Showcasing a moxie and allure that simply wasn’t there on Valley of the Snake, Ruby the Hatchet have effectively turned the corner on Planetary Space Child. Whether it’s because of the change in aesthetic (our first guess) or the simple fact the songs are better (probably a better guess, frankly), Ruby the Hatchet have a winner with Planetary Space Child.