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RUINS

Ruins

Zeuhl


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siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars Although intended to be a power trio the Japanese band RUINS (there's an Australian band of the same name) ended up as consisting of only two members: drummer/vocalist Tatsuya and bassist of which there have been four in the history of the band. On this debut EP that to date has only been released on 7" vinyl finds Kawamoto Hideki handling bass duties. Therefore there is no guitar to be heard but rather a cacophonous noise rock production that utilizes the Magma inspired zeuhl rhythms as inspiration but at this point these guys were into free improvisation with highly distorted bass tones, frenetic brutal prog workouts and screamed, shouted and screeched lyrics that were created in their invented language (the Magma connection runs deep).

On this short but sweet debut release that came out in 1986 they manage to cram six tracks into a 10 minute and 17 second release. The whole thing comes off as an avant-punk type of sound actually as the bass gallops so fast that it sounds like a guitar frenzy at times and some of the rhythms remind me more of a Dead Kennedys on speed than anything Christian Zander pumped out however the Magma influences are quite pronounced in the vocals even if the blatant instrumental aspects hadn't quite conjured up the sophistication to evoke their favorite prog superstars. RUINS is the logical beginning of this band that has always been about speed, distortion and avant-bravado. This EP was never released on CD but is on YouTube and many of the tracks are on the compilation "1986-1992" however "Crisis," "Catastrophe" and "Nocturne," half the EP is missing. This is decent but nothing totally unexpected or overly different than their more easily obtainable 90s releases.

Report this review (#1644849)
Posted Saturday, November 19, 2016 | Review Permalink
2 stars Spotify has bad press for legit reasons but it does make things a lot more accessible for people on tight budgets like myself. Here's a perfect example, the fact that I and many others can listen to this rare and early debut release from the origins of the Japanese Zeuhl scene.

At just 10 minutes, I wasn't expecting a slow builder, but the wall of noise and chaos at the start still hit me like a sledgehammer! Its rough and raw and fast paced and the gain has been turned up to four million for some uncomfortable distorted bass. The influences of the likes of Magna are clear in the vocal shrieking, reminiscent of Klaus Blasquiz but much more raw. I absolutely cannot call it good, in fact its really just 10 minutes of extreme punk jamming to give you a headache. But it's definitely a collectors item.

Report this review (#2755447)
Posted Friday, May 20, 2022 | Review Permalink

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