Philadelphia-based quintet Ruby the Hatchet — Jillian Taylor (vocals), Johnny Scarps (guitar), Lake Muir (bass), Owen Stewart (drums, vocals) and Sean Hur (keys, organ) — quickly established a unique take on heavy psych rock with their self-titled 2011 debut EP, which featured a sound centered around Taylor’s soulful vocals, Scarps’ old-school, power chord-driven riffs and Hur’s Rainbow and Deep Purple-like organ chords.
Their debut EP received attention both locally and elsewhere. And building upon the buzz of the EP, the Philadelphia-based heavy psych outfit self-released their full-length debut, 2012’s Ouroboros.
Ruby the Hatchet’s sophomore effort, 2105’s Valley of the Snake received attention across the global heavy music scene while revealing a band that was constantly evolving their sound and approach. The band then spent the next two years on a relentless global tour, sharing stages with Kadavar, Black Mountain, Earthless, Arthur Brown, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats and The Sword. They capped off this busy period with their third album, 2017’s Planetary Space Child, which debuted on the Billboard Top Indie Albums Chart and received widespread critical praise.
The acclaimed and rapidly rising heavy psych outfit signed to Magnetic Eye Records, who will be releasing the band’s first batch of recorded outfit in five years, Live at Earthquaker EP. Recorded live to tape at EarthQuaker Devices‘ Akron, OH-based headquarters, during a stop on the band’s US tour with Kadavar, the three-song EP features a cover of Uriah Heep‘s “Easy Livin‘” and two new songs, which the band had road-tested over the past handful of years — and will appear on their long-awaited fourth album slated for release later this year.
The EP’s first single “1000 Years” is a power ballad centered around Taylor’s soulful, powerhouse vocals, Scarps’ bluesy power chord-fueled riffs, Hur’s soaring keys and some enormous, arena rock friendly hooks. Sonically, “1000 Years” is a synthesis of Black Sabbath‘s “War Pigs” and “Planet Caravan” — but delivered with a raw, forceful intensity.
“Our first foray with Magnetic Eye Records is going to be a major ear-tease, showcasing an in-studio live session recorded at Earthquaker Headquarters of two new songs from our upcoming studio full-length”, Ruby the Hatchet’s Jillian Taylor says. :”We had been road-dogging for a few years straight and felt very much in the pocket. As we tested out new material throughout the tour, these two songs were fan favorites every night. ‘Primitive Man’ is an in-the-pocket groover that everyone gets to riff on. ‘1,000 Years’ is an emotionally long-winding melodic ballad that had me sharing tears with strangers in the crowd as we closed our set with it each night. Jeff France and the Earthquaker crew captured us at the height of our tour tightness, and we love that these songs were captured live with footage from EQ and exist in their own realm, apart from their studio versions which came a year later. Oddly enough, our cover of ‘Easy Livin” was also tracked live and without computers, so it only felt right for it to make a vinyl debut along with our other raw cuts. This live session deserved a special release of its own, and we cannot wait to get it out and build some excitement for what’s to come on our new album.”
Live at Earthquaker EP is slated for an April 22, 2022 release.