"Goodbye to All That"

Brash Music

Long before Dublin's Thrills moved (temporarily) to California to borrow some of that sunshine sound, Rubyhorse relocated from Cork to Boston. Yet eight years on this side of the Atlantic don't seem to have Americanized the quartet's music. The new "Goodbye to All That" is the sort of yearning, histrionic rock that's been popular in the British Isles since the first U2 album, if not longer.

The album opens with "Some Dream," a folkie/loungey celebration of the drowsy state where "we turn our back on life." Some of the other songs are more forceful, yet still aspire to reverie. Acoustic guitars strum against the tide, trip-hop sound effects clank in the distance, violin-emulating synths swell the crescendos and breathy backup vocals are layered into the gauzy whole. These 11 songs are eminently tuneful and lushly atmospheric, but not exactly unprecedented. It's no surprise that two major U.S. labels signed Rubyhorse -- and that both of those contracts didn't last long. "Feel the apathy set in," coos singer Dave Farrell in "Underneath," and it's an easy command to obey.

-- Mark Jenkins

Appearing Saturday at Iota with the Upwelling. * To hear a free Sound Bite from Rubyhorse, call Post-Haste at 301-313-2200 and press 8128. (Prince William residents, call 703-690-4110.)