DAVE RUDER "Qualms Rectified" C36
(Gold Bolus Recordings)

Dave Ruder’s audiobiographical “Qualms Rectified” release feels deep down like a sound pome, perhaps titled “37”; feels like an abstract homage to Sandra Cisneros’ gut-punching, prosy chapter, “Eleven”, which starts out;

“What they don’t understand about birthdays and what they never tell you is that when you’re eleven, you’re also ten, and nine, and eight, and seven, and six…”

I say this for a few reasons;

1) it affords me justification for reading the J-Card’s title and saying “QuALMS R-R-R-E-C-T-i-fied!” with a frenetic diction of the inner 15-year old me employing Beavis’s caffeinated alter-ego, the Great Cornholio, which leads me to;

2) some of the lyrical themes, nay, MOST of Dave Ruder’s words had me laughing-out-loud at first, and giggling childishly for the duration of the track. And there are several tracks like this, leaving me to feel like I am also six, and five, and four…

So, is this release just some sophomoric Nilsson-esque cataloging of irreverent fancies? Absolutely not! As stated before, “37”, not “17”,  because, when the focus isn’t on singing about self/socially-deprecatory themes, the accompanying instrumentation is a mature, wisened treasure trove of perfectly arranged horns, woodwinds, bowed strings & restrained guitar that no t-shirt-collar-stretching newcomer could likely pull off (much like Nilsson, again, when I think about it); and the interludes/vignettes add so much to the weight of the songs surrounding them that I cannot picture the album without them, despite DR’s notes on the creative process involved with churning this puppy out, asking in earnest self-doubt;

“Why can’t I just find a voice for 40 minutes of music?”

The answer is simple, Dave! The plethora of perspectives, moods, touch & go foci, & introspective themes in your tool kit all coalesce into one brilliant chorus of artistic gestalt, you silly, humble goose! Keep on blending & exploring! I’ll keep on keeping tabs on your output! Stay weird! Perhaps you are the next Great Horn-Cowl-io?


  --Jacob An Kittenplan