Cody Beebe is no stranger to the pages of Screamer Magazine. His previous band, Cody Beebe and The Crooks, graced our pages on several occasions. Beebe is back with a new band, Rust on the Rails, which features his distinctive vocals on hard-to-categorize-but-easy-to-like songs. Beebe’s founding partner in the band is Blake Noble, who hails from Australia and brings his guitar and didgeridoo with him. The didgeridoo, with its unique haunting quality makes an appearance in the opening song on their debut album Talisman. Every Little Thing starts with the didgeridoo and Beebe’s haunting wail, builds in intensity, and eventually ends as it begins in the closing bars of the song as the didgeridoo fades into silence.
Trip features a Jimmy Page-like guitar line to open the song, which repeats throughout the tune. The song represents everything that’s so…so real about this band. The complete opposite of the deluge of over processed, Auto-Tuned copycat bands flooding the Internet, Rust on the Rails sounds like four guys who simply entered the recording studio, plugged in and rocked out. Abbot and Costello is in a similar vein; an earthy rocker with a sweet, bluesy guitar sound.
Secrets is arguably the showpiece song on Talisman. Although Rust on the Rails isn’t a country band (though they do have rural roots), one thing in common with country music is that ROTR’s songs tell stories. The song starts with an opening acoustic guitar minor chord progression that perfectly sets the mood for the very word “secrets,” even before the vocals kick in. A tale of betrayal and redemption, the line in the chorus “give me a reason to let these secrets die” gives a hint of how powerful this tale is.
Another song that carries the natural progression that Beebe started with The Crooks is Crutch. Eric Miller’s funky bass line and Chris Lucier’s rolling drumming combines with funky guitar chording to make this a song that would make a club crowd tap their toes and nod their heads—and maybe even induce a little dancing. Play The Fool is a melancholy acoustic ballad that everyone who’s ever been in an intense relationship will most definitely relate to.
Talisman is Rust on the Rail’s first full-length album. Almost a year in the making, it’s a worthy reflection of the passion that Beebe and his bandmates pour into their music.