Now this is what I call a find. I didn't realize this thing even existed until I was browsing on Ebay earlier this year. Some New Ruins contains no less than three big favorites of mine - Bleached Black, Beauty Constant, and Senator Flux, all of whom I've done features on. As far as "scene" compilations go, ...Ruins is a rarity in that it's emphasis is predominantly on quality control, not mere locality. In addition to the aforementioned the most pleasant surprise was the buzzsaw power pop of U Thant (not to be confused with the Welsh group of the same name) especially the second of their two contributions, "Little Chlorine." If you dug the likes of Grey Matter and the High Back Chairs, U Thant will work miracles for you, and I'd love to know if they had anything else committed to tape. I was impressed with Cattle Collision too, a female fronted combo that could pass for a mash-up of early 10,000 Maniacs and Vomit Launch. One glaring hindrance to this disk is the inclusion of the exceedingly rank Sx Ox Rx, a very out-of-place hardcore band with an amateurish eye towards Rollins-era Black Flag. I'm not out to berate anybody, but Sx... put a bit of a blemish on this thing.
Going back to some of the other acts I initially mentioned, Bleached Black (helmed by the late, great Steven Deal) were nothing less than quintessential in their league, that being guitar-sy indie rock. We have two tracks here that did not appear on either their self-titled album for Relativity Records, or their Wrist Slashing Romance ep. You can purchase their complete studio works here. Similarly, Beauty Constant were a honey of a left-off-the-dial proposition as well. Both of their tunes on ...Ruins also reside on their Like the Enemy LP. It's only fitting that Senator Flux make a showing here, as frontman David Levine was the curator and brainchild of this whole ball o' wax. S/F's poetic, narrative spiels would be perfected in the coming years on platters such as Storyknife and the Criminal Special.
01. Bleached Black - Ecosong
02. U Thant - Her Soul Arrives
03. Senator Flux - (Walking the) Black Road
04. Cattle Collision - Very Sorry Second Best
05. Beauty Constant - Thursday Night
06. The Rafles - The Biggest Day in Your Life
07. Sx Ox Mx - Life as it Is
08. The Rafles - Danny's Garden
09. Beauty Constant - Sight to See
10. Bleached Black - You Couldn't Tell Me
11. Sx Ox Mx - Blind to Reality
12. U Thant - Little Chlorine
13. Cattle Collision - Not to Mean
14. Senator Flux - Southbound Trains
RADIKALKUR & E.M.S. - Erkenne Dich Selbst EP 1998 - Another fantastic record from Austria with two nice bands. Radikalskur's political punkrock meets the powerful and emotional HC/Punk of E.M.S. - This spli...
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