Doing a quick glance over the various reviews of this album, i have noticed only one reviewer who even attempted to throughly criticize the hell out of this album. And a good job he did...for himself. But clearly, whoever recomended that he listen to Soul Coughing was glossly mistaken. Being the creepy stalker that i am, i read his other reviews to find that his primary musical interests center around 70s pop music, and while he may enjoy Cake, this is diffrent.
Diffrent to say the least. Soul Coughing is one of few bands that cannot be accurately compared to anything else at all. Sure, you can pick out the influences, but the complete sound is unique. It's a little like morphine, with free-form poetry and some drum and bass. Or like some of Garbages older stuff, but less electro and a male vocalist. Truely, though, Soul Coughing is not a band you ought to recommend to anyone based one their appreciation of another band.
"Ruby Vroom" is in my opinion, one of the greatest albums to be made in the 90s. I'm sure that comment won't go over well with the Nirvana crowd, but it's true. From the flawless, almost techno-quality drums of Yuval Gabay, to the haunting and precise upright bass of Sebastian, to, best of all, the vocals of Mike Doughty. Doughty does not sing songs about specific stuff, like falling in love or how politics are in the toilet. He sings about things that, granted, do not make complete sense, but rather, convey a mood.
And "Ruby Vroom" is all kinds of moody. The combination of unusual vocals and the use of an upright bass gives the entire album a brooding and dark tone. The wall to wall "hits" include "Casiotone Nation" (a song who's lyrics change every time it is performed) "Bus To Beelzebub" (which opens with a sample from a 'Looney Toons' song) "True Dreams Of Wichita" "Mr. Bitterness", and best of all "Screenwriters Blues", a track i personally think could continue the length on an entire LP and not get stale.
My humble opinion, but by the looks of it, I'm in good company.