The album opens up with “Cities On Fire” and after a mellow, softly plucked guitar intro, we hit some feedback and the song suddenly bursts into life with a bitterness; a sharpness with Jamie Lenman’s intense, heavy vocals…he’s giving this his all, switching between soothing and savage you get a real sense of what emo should be…the mellifluous segments find themselves somewhere between SNOW PATROL and LONELY THE BRAVE while the more aggressive elements really add weight and character, balancing it out well, this is a nice opener. “We’re All Going Home In An Ambulance” has some wonderfully distorted guitar tones aiding a frenetic, disjointed musical onslaught…it’s noisy, it’s messy, it’s off-kilter…someone would probably label this mathcore today but whatever you want to call it, it’s wonderful.
Second single “Deadly Lethal Ninja Assassin” has a slower, lethargic tempo but its simplicity is infectious. Its melody is subtle and it’s a far tamer track overall with a solid climatic flurry, add to that an appearance by one Mr FRANK TURNER and we’ve got an enjoyable listen. Lengthy track names became a staple of emo albums, and “Crushed Under The Weight Of Enormous Bullshit” was no exception…for the most part utilising almost “Psycho” inspired notes, it’s an intense, unsettling listen, while “Good Luck” on the other hand is a far more peaceful acoustic led track, featuring guest vocalist Hannah Clark, it’s a lovely little relaxing campfire ballad, providing another highlight. Speaking of which, “Agony/Agatha” is another enjoyably simplistic offering; piano driven, equally quirky and catchy, before we eventually finish up on “A Short History Of Nearly Everything”. Primarily sombre in tone, it’s a fitting closure to not only the album, but their career at the time. Emo may have gone stratospheric in the years that followed and many would argue its core values were more than tainted, but bands like Reuben were properly underappreciated as soon as there was a commercial bandwagon to jump on. Ten years on, this is still a solid listen, while emo itself, was crushed under the weight of its own enormous amount of bullshit.