Made out of babies – The ruiner – 4.5/5
And I’m out of time for all the bands that have been piling up, so watch me write three short reviews in the space of an hour!
Onto an album produced by Steve Albini (Noise Rock pioneer from ‘Big Black’) his influence can clearly be heard in the eclectic array of sounds produced by a band I hesitate to describe as a combination of post-hardcore and noise rock. This hesistation is due to the difficulty in truly describing what your hearing, bizarre vocal work, laid upon in an unusual manner, weird sounds and crashes and bashes and tones and electric effects, mixed together to form an odd coherency. It doesn’t sound overtly unmelodic as behind all these effects lies a prominent guitar work, and sold drum beats. Whilst they don’t add much in the way of creativity, they both serve rather well at keeping the song going, providing a base framework.
Which is where the vocals come in, with periods of screaming (and I really do mean screams, not lyrics here), whispers, hardcore rasps as well as soft singing all come together in a manner that sounds like pop singer Bjork has dropped some acid, seeing monsters in between periods of calm, screaming at the top of her lungs to ‘run away’. Her range is to be commended, perfectly fitting and abstract, sounding distant and cold, emotional, aggressive, scared, you name it she’s probably nailed it at some point on this album. Whilst perhaps not a ‘good’ singer by conventional standards, she’s not at all operatic, and sounds rather raw in the way its produced, but her variety more than makes up for any shortcomings, and packs the first punch in this album.
The second punch comes from when your more acquainted with the album, you’ve played it a couple of times, are used to the tones she can produce, and begin listening more intently to the lyrics, and its here you realise that its doesn’t just sound bizarre, but the lyrics are no different. Cryptic, but not too difficult to piece together, for example giving you preparation for a more aggressive section is her quietly muttering “If you believe in such things then start praying,” it re-ignites interest in an album I’d have trouble ever describing as ‘boring.’
This is truly bizarre, and a joy to listen to. Aggressive as your average hardcore, bombastic tones, dark atmospheres and slower emotional passages combine and interchange unpredictably, and seamlessly continuing the structure of the song set previously. I’m slightly disappointed only one picked this up when I fapped them before. It may not be metal, but it’s a damn sight better than a lot of metal I’ve heard of late.
Highlights: Cooker, The Major, How to Get Bigger
By T. Bawden