The Ruiners: How’s That Grab Ya?

ruiners-hows-that-grab-ya

The Ruiners are your new favorite band. Sure this album is from 2003, and I’m just getting around to reviewing it now even though I bought it… so long ago. I accepted the Ruiners as my own personal savior after hearing the track Detroit Surfer Boy on the Resistance compilation. After listening to How’s That Grab Ya?, it became gospel. It’s rooted in pretty basic neo garage band punk, but with a lot of humor, and well,  insight.  It’s not just dumb rawk, for the sake of rawk. The album opens with “Punk Son,” and after the first four lines I was hooked. “Father, love your punk son. He might wear chains, but he would never hurt you. Father, love your punk son.  He might scare the neighbors, but he would never kill them.”  It’s anthem that sounds like it was written for 1982, and that’s OK.  There’s a heavy Cramps sensibility, but the musical style only occasionally strays into rockabilly. Rick Ruiner’s voice alternately sounds a little like Iggy Pop when he’s crooning, and a mix between  Dave Faulkner (Hoodu Gurus) and Olga from the Toy Dolls when he isn’t. Rick get’s help from a trio of classy ladies on the vocals throughout the album. It’s mostly garage/hot rod/surf rock, but there are the occasional segues into other genres, though nothing drastic. Ghost Pains is notable for being a touching neo new wave ballad… if that makes any sense. The Ruiners hail from the wastelands of Detroit, where I assume they rule 20 or so square city blocks as feudal warlords or highly revered trial shaman. Every minute you spend reading my feeble attempts to testify to their brilliance is time wasted not listening to the Ruiners.  In the (ahem) 10 years I’ve been estranged from them, it looks like they’ve had some lineup changes and might have migrated towards a more pseudo-rockabilly vibe in later years. The good news is, they are still performing.  Time for me to pony up for some new merchandise.

 

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