The Ruby Suns

Thursday

SXSW Records

The Ruby Suns

Fight Softly (Sub Pop/Lil' Chief)

For 2007 sophomore effort Sea Lion, Kiwi Ryan McPhun of the Ruby Suns took Brian Wilson on a trans-Indian Ocean jaunt across the islands and into Africa, where they did a bit of exploration. For Fight Softly, McPhun has gone Kurtz with the Californian. If you're following the linear progression, you'd still find vestiges of the Pet Sounds orchestrations that made the group's eponymous debut so alluring, but if you just dropped in at this point, you'd be at a loss to find anything readily identifiable underneath the overly lush arrangements. And Fight Softly is more a product of arrangements than any kind of pop conventions. They're obviously McPhun's songs to assemble as he wishes, but eschewing formula for atmospherics isn't particularly novel. Just because you've subverted melody and rhythm in favor of something more textural doesn't make you Brian Wilson. (Thu., 1am, Galaxy Room Backyard.)

**

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw. Sign up for our South-by-specific newsletter at austinchronicle.com/newsletters/ for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest Tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Octopus Project
Memory Mirror (Record Review)

Abby Johnston, April 14, 2017

Texas Platters
Cotton Mather
Wild Kingdom (Record Review)

Michael Toland, April 14, 2017

More by Michael Bertin
SXSW Live Shot: Mark Kozelek
SXSW Live Shot: Mark Kozelek
Little packages of just-so honesty

March 15, 2014

SXSW Day Party: Mac McCaughan
SXSW Day Party: Mac McCaughan
Superchunk captain rides pretty smooth on just an acoustic

March 14, 2014

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

The Ruby Suns

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)