It’s been a while since I dipped into the Ruts DC sound, even longer since I caught them live, way back in the Melkweg in Amsterdam with Johnny H and in truth a break from a Brutal afternoon of Gimp Fist, Lions Law and Discipline!!!
But on to this baby, welcome to One of my Favourite LPs of the year so far in a year that’s had some real blinders. A reminder of the times we’re living in, while also reminding us that Punk has a voice, and sometimes it just has to be listened to.
Opener Faces in the sky is one of the strongest openers to have hit these ears in a while, then Caught in the Kill Zone just moves it up a gear!!! That guitar sound that we all love front and centre.
Next up X-Ray Joy, shifts sound and focus, much lighter before things again move up a gear the sound just washes over you, drawing you in deeper and deeper. There’s the merest hint of a reggae skank to the beginning of The Question is before that Bass run takes over and that stabbing punk guitar nudges you reminding you of where the Ruts come from, where the sound is grounded, a societal scream of anguish, a story waiting to be told. Born Innocent gives you that hint of a dub reggae opening before the message in the lyrics stands tall and we move into some gorgeous lead guitar work.
Next up Counterculture again draws on that Ruts heritage, the guitars picking at you, “Whatever happened to the Counterculture?!” standing tall as a vocal refrain, probably standing up as my fave track on the LP. Too Much has an almost soft rock intro before that’s put firmly in its place and we’re back into that guitar sound we all know so well.
Truth be told there isn’t a weak track on this LP!!! Definitely, an LP for the times we’re struggling to survive in, led by the latest Tory Austerity measures, paying astronomical bonuses to the bankers (Give it 5 years and we’ll be bailing them out again) with Energy suppliers bleeding us dry, more than ever we need to turn and embrace the Counterculture, giving that light of Hope that music provides.
Fair play what an LP!!! Get in there!!!
Author: Nev Brooks