Skin Graft Records
The first time I heard Ruins was while smoking massive amounts of cheeba with Kramer (no, not Cosmo). This was back in the summer of ’92 when I was doing an internship with Shimmy Disc. Shimmy released Ruins’ second recording, entitled Burning Stone. It was an amazing experience. I brought it back to Florida and played it to anyone who would listen. The album was well received by dope smokers, er, cool people. What makes the Ruins such an avant garde band is the fact that Ruins is comprised of two people: one bass player and one drummer. But the music they put out is absolute jaw-dropping. On top of that, this Japanese duo made up their own language.
All of this brings me to their latest release, Refusal Fossil. Comprised of unreleased tracks and live tracks, Ruins delivers the same amount of mind-altering mayhem that will leave the listener in awe of the sound that can be produced from two instruments. The first twelve songs are the unreleased tracks that were recorded on 4 and 8 track machines. The final seven were recorded live in Tokyo with other musicians, including a sax player and keyboardist. The latter two add a different element that I was not prepared for. Kind of like a John Zorn/Naked City project. Nevertheless, this is some brilliant work. The best part of their “language” is that you will catch yourself turning up the music and listening closer because you would swear that you know what they are saying. If you enjoy music by the Boredoms, you could probably thank Ruins for some influence, and you should purchase this and anything else by Ruins. They’re alternative, dude. Skin Graft Records, P.O. Box 257546, Chicago, IL 60625