Label: Xtra Mile Records Release date: 24/08/09 Website: Official Site Buy: Amazon Rarities and B-sides albums are usually a rip off, and therefore only bought by hardcore fans. *red light flashes* This is not a rip-off. This is not only for hardcore fans. Buy this album! Reuben's ashes are still smouldering - they went on 'hiatus' last year, leaving their ever-growing fan base to mourn them, a process still ongoing. From the ashes, this phoenix rises: every non-album track they ever recorded, along with live tracks, music videos, interviews, and 'much more', packed into a set amusingly titled 'We Should Have Gone to University'. I love it. I have never heard B-sides so well recorded, or so bursting with inspiration, skill and passion. The band didn't have time to change too much, with only three albums behind them: this fact means this album has what many rarities albums lack - continuity. Despite the fact it is career-spanning, every track fits, and captivates, and indeed rocks. Such a massive collection of songs means I haven't had time to scrutinise every track, but I haven't found one I want to skip, even after several listens. There are strains of Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine, and various other influential rock bands, but Reuben put their music together in a way which, while it's not totally original, is totally all-the-other-good-things-music-can-be. Reuben's sound can be metal, punk, screamo, or hard rock, and they do every style equally well. They can do a huge range different moods too, from the bitterness of the opening track 'Alpha Signal Seven', to the anger and apprehension in 'Scared of the Police', to the sultry lust of 'Eating Only Apples', to the tenderness of 'Numb at Four in the Morning'. Reuben are conventional hard rock with an experimental twist, and this means they can sustain your attention, suddenly letting the guitar do something skilful unexpectedly, or the dynamics change drastically. The live tracks are just as good, proving that Reuben didn't just twist knobs in the production room to make their sound powerful. I think the main reason for Reuben's versatility is the lead singer Jamie Lenman's voice. While the guitar sound and drumming remains pretty consistent throughout, Jamie's voice can vary from soft and atmospheric to gritty and strong, even within a track. I never tire of his vocal tricks - if I had my own awards, he'd definitely win best rock vocalist. It helps that he's singing rather good lyrics: one liners such as 'here's one in the eye for love', and poetic stances on depression that will have intelligent miserable teenagers everywhere worshipful. Let's say it's hard to criticise this collection. I could say the tracks are sometimes a bit similar to each other, and sometimes more layers in the texture could have added interest...but I really had to search for those arguments, and they're weak ones. Again, everyone should get into Reuben, and not let themselves be put off when they see that this is a B-sides and rarities album. *red light flashes* Buy this album! Rating: 9/10 Buy: Amazon Reuben, Scared of the Police