Mechanical Royalty

by Spookey Ruben

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about

SPOOKEY RUBEN - MECHANICAL ROYALTY

Spookey, back at the helm of good ship Ruben, delights us once again with his knack for colouring outside current musical trends: anchored by a seven-chapter prog rock epic located smack dab in the middle of the album, Mechanical Royalty skips merrily through the garden of musical genres, playing tribute to everything from Yacht Rock to death metal. But this is not Joke Rock à la Ween. Spookey consistently dishes up his excitement for music in his own special heartfelt way.

Tackling a genre forever riddled with ridicule, with its 12-keyboards-and-a-robe-with-a-30-ft-dragon-on-stage guise, Spookey, historically attracted to projects that absolutely don't fit in the hipster category, manages to surprise us once again with his latest pièce de résistance. MR is something Spookey had always wanted to do, and since Royalty falls into the category of all that you're "not supposed to do," says Spook ("like a 16-minute song that won't get on the radio"), he was naturally inclined.

"You can't help but recognize Spookey Ruben as eccentricity in its purest form." - allmusic guide

This new work is the culminating, tantalizing dish—the result of three and a half years of dragon slaying and never giving up, none of which could have been possible without the amazing contributions from a variety of musician friends, ranging from Ariel Pink to Alaina Beaton (Porcelain and the Tramps).

Mechanical Royalty (a pun, alluding not only to the album cover and storyline of the title track, but also to a music business term) is an intense 70s/80s rollercoaster ride, but it’s Spookey's point of view that makes it feel inviting and brand new. The album kicks off with ‘Cat and Mouse’ a retro-futuristic balls-to-the-wall 80s rock stomp complete with DX7 keyboard sounds and Shins-like vocal acrobatics. At the other end of the spectrum there’s death metal absurdo-freak out, ‘American Processed Cheese,’ a song title stumbled upon while re-interpreting the ‘American Idol’ logo. An example of how Spookey often tailors a song’s genre to its title, SR sees A.P.C. as S.O.D. (an old metal fave of his) crossed with Greg Ginn guitar theory. Spookey’s modus operandi revolves around his addiction to an important story or a song title then taking it to the limit, expressing its theme, no holds barred.

"Pop Fantasia Genius" - Mojo Magazine

Express from Spookey’s bedroom studio we have ‘Rachel,’ basically the 2009 incarnation of ‘Shauna’ from yesteryear (and from Spookey’s 2003 hit album, Breakfast). Poppy as fuck. It makes me think, who is this new girl Rachel, and where has Shauna gone? Is this the lost follow up single to ‘Never Ending Story’? Then there's a fresh nod to Facebook with 'Superpoke', an indie pop classic whose sax solo (Joseph Shabason) throws it into Joni Mitchell gear. Finally, the title track of the album is a 15 and a half minute epic tribute to prog rock & metal influences from Spookey's youth (Saga, Rush, Watchtower, Voivod…) In seven chapters it tells the story of a kingdom of robots who are attacked by humans because they possess a magnetic force; a code in the motherboard that keeps harmony in society. The humans who originally created the robots, now seek to get it back for themselves.

‘I recall Spookey saying if you love the Mechanical Royalty track you're probably a guy because girls don't like prog rock. After just one listen I was hooked. Guess that means I'm a dude.’ -Kathryn McBride

credits

released June 28, 2009

Written and Produced by Spookey Ruben
cover art: Dave McCaig

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Track Name: Cat & Mouse
Don’t ask why, I’m not going to cry. But mostly, I can see that there are peculiar things along the horizon.

You make it fun, make me run upstairs and dance around the house pretending we are cat and mouse.

What I’m tryin’ to say…what I’m tryin’ to say…No matter how they twist it ‘round or spin it: Don’t you know that we will always, be like cat and mouse!


.................................................................
Track Name: Rachel
Hey! What are you looking for?
Knockin’ on my front door?
I need to understand what’s going on inside your crazy head
You’re the needle in the haystack
Dream of the day when I will be the one to miss you
Kiss you when there’s no one else around
It’s up to you - We like to chill sometimes and make up rhymes
But where do we go? What do I know? heh heh

Rachel
What are you here for?
With no explanation
You take me away

Hey! Am I just your wind-up toy?
Or is there a chance that I could be the one
to take you down the aisle
and up the Rosary Hill?
You know that I won’t let go (eh-oh)
You like to spin me round, watch me drown
But maybe one night? maybe some day?

Rachel
What are you here for?
With no explanation
you take me away

Rachel
What are you here for?
Tell me your secrets
Is this just a game?

......................................................................
Track Name: Just Another Way
It’s just another way (yeah yeah) I feel.
And I’m calling all the girls in other worlds, in outerspace
And yeah, something you should do: just call my number
‘cause I changed the living room back to how we used to have it

Wanna make a difference?
Can I make a difference?
Does it make a difference? Does it make a difference?
Wanna make a difference?
Can I make a difference?
Does it make a difference? Does it make a difference?

Hey It’s just another day (day day day) alone on the freeway
And I call up every girl – in other words I need some company

If I could only swallow all the guilt and pain and the lies
Then maybe I could survive

Wanna make a difference?
Can I make a difference?
Does it make a difference? Does it make a difference?
Wanna make a difference?
Can I make a difference?
Does it make a difference? Does it make a difference?

Hey, It’s just another way (yeah yeah) I feel.

Wanna make a difference?
Can I make a difference?
Does it make a difference? Does it make a difference?



.........................................................................
Track Name: If You Wanna Know
WHO CARES TO WONDER WHY HOW YOU AND I COULD SLOWLY DISBAND AND FIZZLE AWAY?
WHO DARES TO UNDERSTAND HOW YOU AND I COULD SLOWLY UNTIE AND SEPARATE?

IF YOU WANNA KNOW WHAT’S WRONG
JUST LOOK AROUND THE ROOM
CAUSE I REALLY MISS WHO’S GONE
I’M HOLDING ON, YES I’M HOLDING ON TO YOU

WHO STARES INTO THE NIGHT WITH TEARY EYES AND CALLS ME?
(TELLS ME SOMETHING’S NOT RIGHT - OH OH)
WHO’S THERE TO HEAR THE WORDS I’VE LOCKED INSIDE MY HEART CAGE?
(ONLY YOU’VE GOT THE KEY TO MY HEART – MY HEART)

IF YOU WANNA KNOW WHAT’S WRONG
JUST LOOK AROUND THE ROOM
CAUSE I REALLY MISS WHO’S GONE
I’M HOLDING ON, YES I’M HOLDING ON TO YOU

CAUSE I’M HOLDING ON TO WHO YOU WERE
AND YES I’M HOLDING ON TO WHAT WE HAD
HOLDING ON TO WHO YOU ALWAYS ARE

IF YOU WANNA KNOW WHAT’S WRONG
CAUSE I REALLY MISS WHO’S GONE (I’M ALONE, ALONE AT HOME)
IF YOU WANNA KNOW WHAT’S WRONG (NOBODY KNOWS, NOBODY CARES)
CAUSE I REALLY MISS WHO’S GONE (I’M ALONE, ALONE AT HOME)
NEEDY EYES HAVE LEFT A HOLE IN THE NIGHT
COME TO TERMS WITH ALL THE TEARS I’VE HELD INSIDE

...................................................................
Track Name: U Don't Know What You're Missing (feat. Porcelain Black)
Blowin' off yesterday
Maybe she’ll call you tomorrow?
Sitting in a car that you borrowed
Do you really know what you are after?
Happily ever after?
Another bleak empty month in the trash

<you don’t know what – what you’re missing>
<you don’t know what>

An old ass claim to fame
Champion of a video game
Don’t ever hit the gas instead of the brakes
Twenty thousand miles with no mistakes
It’s yet another chapter filled with
A whole lotta nothin’ goin on

I don’t want to be the one who’s missing all the fun
Why so lonely? You so scared - you run, you run, you run

<you don’t know what – what you’re missing>
<you don’t know what – what you’re missing>

hanging on to the short end of the stick
hanging to the things that make you sick
you only get one chance to live
Is this the last exit to Brooklyn?
Is this the last exit to Berlin?
Is this the last exit to Ca-na-da?

I don’t want to be the one who’s missing all the fun
Why so lonely? You so scared - you run, you run, you run

<I’m afraid to leave the house ‘cause I might just meet someone and I really I really can’t stand anybody, anbody getting near me – I’m paranoid, I’m paranoid , I’m freaking out, I’m paranoid, I’m paranoid ,I’m so annoyed that I’m paranoid, I’m freaking out, I’m paranoid>

I don’t want to be the one who’s missing all the fun
Why so lonely? You so scared - you run, you run, you run
You can wake up maybe? Can’t be lazy - sleeping all day long
Even Mary Mary, quite contrary, wants to come long


............................................................................
Track Name: American Processed Cheese
SMILE...SAY CHEESE!


..............................................................
Track Name: Eyes of Man
Across the street I see a friend
I say hello if I want to
With my ups and downs, smiles and frowns
My head’s stuck in a cloud
I’m gonna lose who I used to be

In the eyes of man - I am breaking up the band
In the hour of passion – Is it me I understand?

When the eagle clips its wing and hits the ground
Then either I will die or go around
Are we in the quest of who should get what’s better?
Cause we’re gonna get it right once and for all – ahh

Across the street I see a friend
I say hello ‘cause I want to
Coming closer, eye to eye
If you take it slow, we can open doors

In the eyes of man - I am changing all our plans
Something I oughtta do - Gotta get to who I am

When freedom clips its wing and hits the ground
Then either I will die or go around
Are we living it up so much I’ve lost what’s real?
Is there anyone here who wants to feel alive?

Broke and down I cry out loud
I can see my open shell
Warning signs showing me
How to free the pain in my heart

In the eyes of man - I am breaking up the band
In the hour of passion – Is it me I understand?
Only I can be the one to find a reason
And I’m gonna get it right once and for all

In the eyes of man – I cry out loud
In the eyes of man – My open shell
In the eyes of man – Showing me…
Can you see it too?


........................................................................
Track Name: Mechanical Royalty
................................................................................


i) Agent Steele


ii) Attack at Krankshaft Castle


iii) And Thus He Rusts (King’s Lament)

“All was clear until the accident
Gone red-handed motherboard
Soon revealed was the masterplan
Making robots out of mortal men
Sitting in his throne, calls his mother on the phone
What the future holds, no one ever knows”

“So the kingdom falls, broken circuits, broken walls
Casualties of reaching for a life that never ends”


iv) The Quirks of Queen of Quartz and Quarks


v) Don Silicon


vi) Triumph on Magnetic Hill

“Drawing circles in the sand with open-minded hands
The magic castle in your eye touches the sky
New companions mark the triumph on Magnetic Hill
Another chapter in our lives passes us by

Drawing circles in the sand with open-minded hands
The magic castle in your eye touches the sky
New companions mark the triumph on Magnetic Hill
Another chapter in our lives passes us by

Drawing circles in the sand with open-minded hands
The magic castle in your eye touches the sky
New companions mark the triumph on Magnetic Hill
Another chapter in our lives passes us by"


................................................................................
Track Name: Superpoke
Here goes everything
Call her up, let it ring

Hope it’s not a joke
Take a chance - superpoke

Speak your mind, look alive
Old Spice, suit and tie

Do you hear my heart beating? (This is the day, this is the day)
I can hear my heart beating (This is the day, a new day)
I can hear my heart beating

One day, piggy back
Next day, heart attack

Loves me, loves me not
Tie my tummy into knots

No matter what I do
Never gonna be enough for you

Do you hear my heart beating? (This is the day, this is the day)
I can hear my heart beating (This is the day, a new day)
I can hear my heart beating

She only wants me as someone to lean on
I’m not the one who she dreams of to make love
It isn’t my fault – it’s my fault, it’s my fault
It makes me sick inside how she leads me on


........................................................................
Track Name: Testimony
I, I would really like to live
inside, inside your clothes and in your tree
Oh you and me, yeah lying there
Something tells me you don’t care

I, I would really like to be
alive, inside your head and in your dreams
Just you and me yeah lying there
Something tells me you don’t care

I, I’ve been working hard this year
To show, show you that I’m still here
With open arms, kettle’s on
Something tells me you do care

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