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Reuben's Accomplice

Looking for something to hang onto as they weathered adolescence in the cultural wasteland of North Phoenix, the boys who play in Reuben's Accomplice found emotional indie rock. But while their music has lots in common with the anthemic celebrations of post-adolescent angst practiced by the likes of Jets to Brazil, Jimmy Eat World, and Hey Mercedes, there's more to Reuben's Accomplice than the chugging power chords and raggedly emotional vocals favored by those bands. A certain sun-baked roots-rock flavor also pervades many of the band's compositions -- appropriate enough, given their desert origins -- that slightly recalls the Americana of those other Arizonans, Calexico.

As a matter of fact, RA gets help from Calexico (and Giant Sand) pedal steel and banjo extraordinaire John Rauhouse, and assorted others (who contribute trumpet cello, keys, and even a little turntablism) on their debut full-length, I Blame the Scenery (a subtle barb directed towards their hometown?). While these guests significantly diversify the group's offerings, responsibility for Reuben's Accomplice's emotional power and great rock hooks can be placed squarely on the shoulders of the four talents who form the band: singer/guitarists Jeff Bufano and Chris Corak, drummer Jim Knapp, and bassist Andy Eames. Friends since childhood, these four have actually played together since the mid-'90s. Not content though to just churn out an album, Reuben's Accomplice waited six years to finally issue I Blame the Scenery, which came out on Better Looking in September 2001.

"We're Not As Big As We Feel" is a blaring trumpet-laced rocker about getting older with a pounding rhythm section. "Loop" is a midtempo guitar-driven song about feeling let down when a crush flakes out on you.

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