Rufio has lost much of their ultra-distinct sound from “Perhaps I Suppose” for a more intense, more accessible sound with this, their “The Comfort of Home”. The technical ability of the band is shown during the soaring guitar solos of the first track “Out of Control”, coupled with the ability of the band to throw down their instrumentation running and affect with some of the greatest breakdowns ever placed on disc. The line that Rufio walks between providing listeners with an intense, full-blown rock experience and instantly-memorizable choruses laid down throughout. What results from this interesting mixture is some of the best emo-rock since Amber Pacific; the band flirts with perfection with the wonderfully harsh “A Simple Line”. The guitar lines, while pedestrian look back to bands like Nelson (After The Rain, anyone?) and even Queens of the Stone Age for inspiration. Instant radio classics like “Bitter Season” mix this technical brand of guitar work, memorable lyrics and dense arrangements into something that will be shocking if it doesn’t get a second life on the music video stations. What is one specific outcome of the change in the style of Rufio’s music is their ability to assume a different type of style for a one-track engagement.
The perfect example of this is during “Drowning”, where the band incorporates Queen’s guitar riffs, the indie twinge of bands like Weezer and Fountains of Wayne and a hastily-sung set of vocals that are reminiscent of the late nineties punk-emotive hardcore bands like Samiam. “The Comfort of Home” has a tremendous amount of tracks gracing it (sixteen), and one just has to wonder if the CD’s impact would not be greater if Rufio decided to jettison a good four or five of the lesser-performing tracks here. As it is, there are a tremendous amount of tracks that continue the sound that Rufio wishes to put forth on this CD, but do not contribute much in the way of putting this album in the must-buy lists of individuals. Rufio comes through with another accessible album of emo-rock, but seems to lose the forest for the trees at moments during “The Comfort of Home”. Should the band tighten their general sound and output up a little, there is no doubt that “The Comfort of Home” could be the next MCMLXXXV, but as this album consists right now listeners just need to have a certain amount of patience to get at the gems present.
Top Tracks: Walk Don’t Run, Out of Control
Rufio – The Comfort of Home / 2005 Nitro / 16 Tracks / http://www.rufiomusic.com / http://www.nitrorecords.com / Reviewed 16 July 2005