Stylistically reminiscent of the late 80’s mode of bombastic Nashville production, Rachel & The Ruckus conspire to make one yearn for their glory days. With the lead single “Water & Oil,” one can easily imagine popping a $10 bill into the standard digital jukebox housed inside a honky-tonk dive and realizing the immediate dichotomy between generations. Rachel & The Ruckus realize a sound that is yearning for a time when more barn-burners were welcomed, but they are nonetheless an inter-generational grab.
Rachel Alena is a more than capable vocalist on the track, though she seems somewhat confined by a backing track that would’ve seemed dated for an artist such as Carrie Underwood in 2006. Though the single has a talented group of ruckus makers, one might wonder how it would compliment Alena’s voice if “Water & Oil” provided a backdrop modeled more closely to say, even the new Shania Twain.
One must recall, however, that “Water & Oil” is oriented towards a boot scootin’ join where bottle caps are flying and whiskey is pouring – the devil is in the details. Rachel & The Ruckus can easily see itself as a party fixture, likely making for much more inviting shindig if the track was invited along.
Aside from the inherent polarity behind the aphorism of “Water & Oil,” Rachel & The Ruckus is a feel-good brand of familiarity. Replete with thundering drums and a sinfully playful violin, Alena and the rest of the crew are powerhouses, just a very specific era of powerhouses. If you’re looking for sentimentality, this track is a hell of a fine starting point in which to crank up while you crack open the icebox to see what’s shaking.