Formed at the start of the first Covid 19 lockdown in March by Manchester musician and former frontman of John Peel punk-pop picks The Bloody Marys John Goodfellow and Jeff Skellon (former bassist with 80’s Liverpool favourites Lalabambam), ‘The Empty Heart EP’ – the third (yes count ‘em) release from The Ruby Tears – shows just what can be achieved by ‘remote working’, Goodfellow and Skellon not (yet) actually having met in the flesh.
Working instead from their respective home studios during the pandemic, with ‘Satellite’ the pair have crafted a piece of classic, seventies-styled-yet-updated New Wave pop-rock in the vein of The Attractions, The Stanglers, or Magazine.
There’s some stellar guitar work from Skellon, all percussive muted strumming and mellow, ‘woman-tone’ lead, Goodfellow’s vocal laid-back and gruff in the way that all good rock music should be, the ‘with the words you never said’ refrain sticking around long after the final notes of Skellon’s guitar have died away. ‘Classic’ is an overused word these days, but ‘Satellite’ is a slice of classic New Wave in the best possible way; climb on board with The Ruby Tears, because there’s every chance this is going to go stellar.
Review by Alex Holmes