My Ruin @ Scala, Kings Cross, London
21st January 2012
Review by Alan Hicks
Photography by Scott Chalmers
Some artists seem to have the proverbial kitchen sink thrown at them and My Ruin have definitely had their fare share of problems, the latest being a record label promising the earth but delivering less than nothing.
My Ruin and front woman Tairrie B in particular are made of sterner stuff than most though, meaning they climb back on the saddle and try even harder, which is good news for us on this particular night, the second date of a UK tour.
Essex metallers SANCTORUM (8/10) have been impressing a number of years now. From the moment they took less than a minute to convince a Bloodstock rep they were good enough for the festival and subsequent gigs at the likes of the Camden Underworld and a previous tour with My Ruin it always seemed inevitable they would go on to bigger and better things.
Tonight, even a man down, they still manage to blow the bloody doors off with their trademark all systems firing metallic assault. ‘Rise of the underdog’ sounds as uncompromising as ever, pummeling the crowd into submission even before they really know what’s going on.
Aaron Sly on bass today instead of guitar thanks to the absence of the bass player is in fine form, unleashing those bellowing roars of triumph while lead guitarist Alex Commons manages to fool you into thinking there really is another guitarist playing in the wings thanks to an almighty sledgehammer of a sound during the likes of ‘Call to arms’ in addition to some enthralling solos. It’s a case of another venue, another victory for Sanctorum.
How GODSIZED (8.5) are not playing the main stage of festivals and larger venues is anyone’s guess and slightly scary for bands lower down the ladder. Just how good do you have to be these days?
Picking up fans wherever these big, bearded musicians drag themselves, Godsized are a southern fuelled machine with a collection of kick ass tunes that melt your ears at sixty paces. The south (London that is) has thrown up many southern/groove influenced bands in the last 5 years with Godsized perched on top of the likes of Sons Of Merrick, Snakebite, Silas and Zocalo.
The likes of ‘Walking away’ drips freely with red hot melody backed up by some hard hitting riffs smeared with a southern drool. At times the vocals from Glen Korner sound uncannily like Myles Kennedy, which considering his current stock in modern rock and metal is certainly a good thing and adds a quality to every song that many of their peers cannot match. If the crowd wasn’t warmed up before they certainly are now.
With a new album being given away free on their website MY RUIN (8.5) arrived on these shores with their weapons fully loaded.
Of course everyone knows their biggest weapon of mass destruction is Tairrie B who marches onto the stage after the intro like she owns it along with the venue and this part of London. ‘A Southern Revelation’ is a fine release and it’s the tracks taken from this that sound the best tonight.
The chugging riff that carpets ‘Tennessee elegy’, courtesy of Mick Murphy gives Tairrie’s paint shredding shrieks a comfortable platform to truly impose themselves. ‘Highly explosive’ hits out with a wonderfully southern, Down-esque main riff, but it’s the punky elements that get the bodies moving down the front, Tairrie leaning over the crowd as if controlling their every move, while the brooding ‘Burn the witch’ slows things nicely, ensuring the set isn’t too one-paced.
On more than one occasion Tairrie thanks people for their help and support, including Jack Osbourne (no, not that one) doing the merchandise in the UK who she first met when he was eleven years old and ends up sharing vocal duties on one track.
These mini breaks in the music actually add to the vibe rather than hold it back. Understandably the band are also vocal about their recent and aforementioned spat with a record company (or should that be non-record company), especially during ‘Middle finger’ where Tairrie manages to sound both seductive and deadly, even when drilling lyrics like "my middle finger is all you get from me" into the envisioned record company executive standing in front of her.
As the set draws to end and the crowd spills out into the north London streets we are left thinking about how a band who have needed to fight their way through so much negativity can still come to this country with such style and grace, keep their fans close to their hearts and on top of that put on one Hell of show. Every January or February there is a gig that sets the standard for the rest of the year. Here was 2012’s!