When bassist Joe Maydak and drummer/guitarist Fred Jeske first approached Canadian solo artist and experimental filmmaker Spookey Ruben to lend his vocals to a track that they had been writing, they did not expect his answer to be, “Why don’t I just sing on all of them?” This led to the birth of AAA Battery, a collaboration of all three musicians, whose debut record, Year Of The Woman, was released earlier this month.
Year Of The Woman is a slightly bizarre disc, experimenting with electronic effects and futuristic sounds while still holding onto an overall pop rock vibe. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the band’s members, especially Ruben, who gained recognition in the mid-’90s after the release of his debut record, Modes Of Transportation Vol. 1.Ruben’s vocals range tremendously throughout the 12-song tracklist, as they go from his usual melodic singing to throwing in random animalistic croaks and howls.
“Tea Time,” which is the first single off the LP, is a bit more lighthearted than other tracks and gives a good idea of what direction the disc follows musically. The album also contains several songs which do not come close to hitting the two-minute mark and serve more as experiments, such as “Robots In The Sun.” This is by far one of the most unconventionalsongs, consisting of nothing but a simple beat from a drum machine, a brief keyboard solo, and mechanically repeating the song’s only two lyrics, “We can be like Mozart on the run/We can be like robots in the sun,” over voice-changing software.
AAA Battery give the record just enough bursts of strangeness to make it interesting without going completely overboard. However, these little oddities are what give Year Of The Woman character, and the disc would not have the same charm to it if they were missing.