Rarely are ‘best of’ and rarities collections a truly satisfying experience, but I would argue that We Should Have Gone To University by Reuben is one of the exceptions to this rule.
Across two CDs and a DVD this pretty much acts a great introduction to the band through the medium of singles, live tracks and B-sides along with all the band’s music videos, tour diaries and full set live videos.
Across the two CDs I got a view of the multi-faceted Reuben sound which ranges from raging angry punk verging on metal, to much more mellow, but equally as dark, semi-acoustic tracks.
While all the songs are great the two standout tracks for me (out of the 47 on offer!) are No Exit Wound and Blitzkrieg both of which sum up the twisted world inside Jamie Lenman’s head in a massively enjoyable way.
Before hearing this I had only skirted around the edges of Reuben’s music through seeing them live when they played a one-off set in Guernsey and from their album In Nothing We Trust, which, while enjoyable in its way, I found hard to grasp without the context I have now gained (save for Deadly Lethal Ninja Assassin, which is a stone cold classic tune).
The DVD that comes with this set would be worth a release on its own. Not only does it feature all the band’s music videos in all their varied and sometimes twisted glory (Blood, Bunny, Larkhall is something else!) but it has the band’s complete set from the main stage at Download in 2007 which is a stormer.
So, I think you’ve probably got the idea that I really enjoyed this CD/DVD set (which I got via XtraMile recording’s F**K The Fire Pledgemusic campaign) and I only wish I’d discovered Reuben properly before they called it a day, but either way if you’re a fan of harder end indie and twisted punk rock this collection is a must.