Dead City Ruins: Midnight Killer

Offering something insatiably energetic and imaginative as well as eagerly teasing the debut album from Dead City Ruins is one unexpected and impressive pleasure. It jumps all over the ear with a diversity and adventure which is refreshing and leaves one grinning ear to ear with satisfaction. Midnight Killer does not kick down any doors leading to new corridors of invention for rock n roll but it is certainly an album which is as enjoyable and invigorating as any other rock release this year and easily more impressive than most.

Formed in London in 2007, the now Melbourne based band infuse in to their core rock sound flourishing veins of classic metal, punk, and blues brought with a stoner and grunge breath. It is a brew which welcomingly leaves its eager mark long after departure to inflame an enthusiasm to constantly return. Sine their beginning the band took no time in drawing a respectful and consistently growing attention through live shows and their first EP Lost In London. 2010 though saw the band feel the need to search for a fresh and new direction which led them to move to Australia. Soon the line-up of vocalist Jake Wiffen, guitarists Tommy Teabag and Sean Blanchard, bassist Mick Quee, and Drewsy on drums came together and cylinders were firing on full high octane as the quintet ignited the likes of Australia, Dubai, England with their greedy rock n roll. Fifty plus gigs across eleven different countries saw Dead City Ruins share stages with the likes of Veins Of Jenna, Faster Pussycat, and Wraith to increasing acclaim which Midnight Killer and upcoming shows with Wolfmother, Gojira, and Mastodon can only accelerate as the band enslaves many more hearts.

Released 23rd July, the album did not initially ignite the fullest enthusiasm due to artwork which does not do justice to the quality within and an opening song which whilst strong and pleasing did not really unveil the full power and inventive engagement of the band. Opener Where You Gonna Run is fairly formulaic as a rock song but presented with an undeniable skill and energy which does only grabs attention. The track is an eager mix of Buckcherry and Wasted Sinners forged to a classic rock body and whilst it did not exactly light any fires it gives enough to keep one keen especially with some fine guitar work to dazzle the ear.

The following Damn My Eyes raises the temperature with its infectious and driving energy skewered with strong vocals from Tommy and the growling bass of Mick, whose play is the greatest lure from a multitude of irresistible beckonings across the album. With its bluesy air handing onto the scuzzy energy of My Lai Massacre the release is already a notable array of well crafted and blended flavours. Off of a pulsating and tingling electrified presence from guitar and bass the third song on the release is an exploratory handling of catchy invigorating riffs and rhythms punctuated with continually agreeable vocals and air blistering guitar imagination. The track has a smooth organic feel through all the manipulations and conjuring before the ear whilst the lyrics not exactly cutting offer a direct and open view.

The moment the heart was truly captured came as the title track takes its place before the ear, though it will be individual to all. From its opening incendiary guitar exploits the song steps into a hypnotic shadowed side street of glorious prowling basslines and wickedly tinted vocals. The beats keep the pace urgent and eager as the song storms with wonderful rages of stirring riffs and melodic hooks so impressively that even the continual thoughts of Rebel Yell cannot deflate the thrill of the song. The track is the point the band show their willingness to play with and venture into unexpected pastures and spicery to create something unique to them which they successfully do, yes there is probably nothing openly new but no one has combined and twisted it the way Dead City Ruins does so magnificently across the album.

The song is the beginning of a trio of outstanding highlights on the album. The obviously tinted Blues follows with a magnetic slow swagger and mesmeric breath to simply spark the strongest addiction. It is one of those songs which crawls mischievously through every pore to envelope one in a consuming warmth lined with aural entrapment so before you realise you are hooked for life. This glorious piece of songwriting is followed by another gem in Go To War. The song is less involved than the previous two but simply sparks up the senses with raging riffs and explosive guitar ventures. It is just unbridled rock n roll to feast upon with the added bonus of an excellent punk ending vocally Mr Lydon would be proud of.

Completed by the stomping and easy going Highway Girl and the excellent Fallen with the bass leaving us with one more gnarly orgasm of sound, Midnight Killer is just one of the most pleasurable rock albums to excite the ear this year. It is a release which lights up the senses whilst marking Dead City Ruins as possibly being one of the most important bands to emerge for the future of hard rock.

RingMaster 09/07/2012

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