The Sydney quartet’s debut offering is a brilliantly dishevelled 70’s romp, fusing garage, punk and occasional reggae with a series of amusing and cleverly constructed stories, resulting in a loose and exciting record. Whilst nearly everything the band does contains an element of tongue in cheek, talent is required to execute successfully, and this is something The Ruminaters possess in abundance.
Comprising of four characters named Pencil, Sloppy, Garlic and Red Ted, The Ruminaters introduce the album by way of a messy bar room slur-along, a brief piano ditty that paves the way for tales of shit talking monsters (Monster Brains) and missing teeth (I Lost My Grandpa’s Teeth).
‘Alpaca King‘ unveils a reggae influence, albeit a slightly warped one before sliding into the epicly bleak acoustic blues of ‘The Devil Stole My Brother‘.
The seamless fusion of styles is backed up with impressive songwriting and a series of bizarre topic matters to keep the listener both attentive and amused. A particularly strong section of the record comprises of two darker numbers ‘Mountain Man‘ (“one day we did something we will regret”) and ‘Dead Stuff‘ (I like being dead”) bookending the demented nursery rhyme ‘Squid Kid‘.
As the album reaches it’s conclusion, the mellower (yet equally weird) side of the band emerges with the quirkily downbeat ‘Double Bass‘ and another dabble at reggae with the confusing ‘Jelly Man‘ (he lives in the walls apparently).
Listening to ‘I Hate The Ruminaters‘, one feels they have stepped into some kind of surreal parallel universe where Squid Kids, Alpaca Kings and Jelly Men manage to coexist harmoniously. Abrasive at times and constantly engaging, this is a consistently entertaining record. Having listened to it several times there is now a strong desire to see these stories unfold live on stage.