Ruins — Graviyaunosch
(Nipp Guitar NG-D03, 1993, CD)
by Steve Robey, Published 1995-07-01Ruins is a contemporary Japanese band that represents the harsh, aggressive side of zeuhl music. They are compared equally often with Magma and the hardcore band The Boredomes - that should give you an idea of the kind of crossover they pull off. After a pair of so-so noise-fest albums, Ruins really hit their stride in 1992 with the relentless album Burning Stone, full to the brim with impossible drumming and zeuhlogies by Tatsuya Yoshida, a note perfect disciple of Christian Vander. The only other member is five-string bassist Ryuichi Masuda, who manages a wide range of timbres. But the volume of this band would lead you to think this was a five piece - hardly a second is wasted in this kamikaze hurricane. Having blown a giant wad of catharsis on their previous album, Ruins wisely went for a marginally more subtle approach on this album. The title track, which begins the album, is always driving, but hypnotic and repetitive in a circular sort of way. Musical themes are grounded in Masuda's lead/rhythm work, and Yoshida's voice grumbles and shrieks (in their own fabricated language, no less!) as he works up a subtly nimble revolution on the drums. On the whole, Graviyaunosch lacks the urgency of Burning Stone, but for those who are turned off by hardcore-isms, this album may actually be preferable. The music is more dynamic, the rhythms more complex, and the range of sounds more evocative. But with the possible exception of the title track, none of these songs match the best of Burning Stone. I recommend Ruins to any zeuhl fan with a taste for punk, or any punk fan with a taste for prog. One cannot deny the power and complexity of their music, but as is the case with Magma, you either love 'em or you hate 'em. Not for the faint at heart.
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more