The Rubber Knife Gang Have Broken Lines – A Review

Read our review of Broken Lines by The Rubber Knife Gang

rubber knife band


The Rubber Knife Gang is a three-piece outfit from Cincinnati, OH, playing a mixture of folk, blues, bluegrass and Americana.  And boy can they play!  The Gang comprises Henry Becker (guitar, banjo, bass, vocals), John Oaks (upright bass, vocals) and Todd Wilson (mandolin, uke, guitar, vocals) and these boys have just released (independently) Broken Lines, their third recorded outing.

Broken Lines is a collection of personal accounts, put to songs written and recorded mostly over the last two years.  These are stories of the lines that bind the trio – strong, tumultuous and unpredictable in turn.  According to the group, ‘Lines that were broken only to be re-joined, stronger but more creatively chaotic and organic, than ever before’.   Broken Lines, the album, is an attempt to move away from previous expectations and genre-confining restrictions and ‘literally let it fly’.The celebratory “Bringing Rain” (and single) opens with a persistent brisk melody and straight away you hear the top-shelf assimilated playing and classy harmonies.  “Siren Serenade” maintains the vibrancy while “Draw The Line” reflects past hurt and disappointment and a preparedness to conditionally re-engage but definitely not forgive.  The song packs a lot of story and is worth a close listen.  The title track “Broken Lines” is a tender piece with beautiful picking and harmonies, transforming in tempo along its path.The banjo-laden “Take The Fall” has a more traditional bluegrass/folk aesthetic and moves along effortlessly.  The Eastern-influenced “House On Fire” is a crowning point, a wonderful showcase for the tight, cohesive instrumentals contained therein.  “Gone Away” is another highlight, it’s lively, pressing and catchy – crank it up and listen to the middle section ‘grass jam.  “Birds In Flight” and “Straight and Narrow Line” have a playful and joyous tone.  “Someone Who Cares” is sparse, tender and thoughtful.  “Hard Driving Rain” (annotated as a demo version) closes proceedings and it’s a killer – pleading voice, hypnotic guitar riff, the sound of thunder (literally!) and piles of intensity.

Broken Lines is inspired and worth relishing.  It proves that The Rubber Knife Gang can write profound material, have a wonderful vocal rapport and can play in an exemplary manner.  The band members have their fingers on the deep pulse of genuine folk/Americana/traditional roots music.

rubber knife band broken lines

Track List:

  1. Bringing Rain 2:32
  2. Siren Serenade 3:09
  3. **Draw the Line 4:36
  4. Broken Lines 5:07
  5. Take The Fall 4:07
  6. Damn You December 3:35
  7. House on Fire 4:25
  8. Gone Away 4:30
  9. Birds in Flight 2:49
  10. Straight and Narrow Line 4:33
  11. Someone Who Cares 5:23
  12. Hard Driving Rain (Demo Version) 4:48

A Rubber Knife Life (2008)

A Rubber Knife Life (2008

Drivin' On (2010)

Drivin’ On (2010)

Thanks to Blackfork Promotions




Read our review of Broken Lines by The Rubber Knife Gang

Read our review of Broken Lines by The Rubber Knife Gang

Read our review of Broken Lines by The Rubber Knife Gang



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Author: Rob Dickens

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