A triumphant reminder of the power and energy of one of the greatest Punk acts.
Ruts DC have a serious heritage to uphold and Music Must Destroy is worthy of another entry into their hall of fame.
Always one of the most talented and original of the bands to emerge from the Punk movement, The Ruts rode the late-70’s ‘second wave’ and crashed ashore with one hell of an impact. With songs of rare power allied with great riffs and a fine ear for melody, they were always on a winner. However, the lyrics and arrangements always marked them out as a rare talent and the tragically early death of frontman Malcom Owen robbed us (and them) of who knows what.
Behind the sing-along choruses there was always a message for their mass following, trying to come to terms with a complicated youth culture and social issues. Songs like Staring At The Rude Boys, H Eyes, SUS and Something That I Said had great sing-along choruses but also struck a chord with the lives of many. West One (Shine On Me) was a painfully sensitive song of loneliness, isolation and despair and revealed a band with a much more rounded talent that they possibly were credited with. Listen to The Ruts today and much of the more hyped music, from that time and since, pales in comparison.
The Ruts spoke to a generation and that generation hasn’t gone away. Music Must Destroy is a vibrant document of the challenges and despair that are faced by many today and all backed by the all-out-attack sound that was always their hallmark.
The manifesto is laid bare in opening onslaught of Psychic Attack, Music Must Destroy and Surprise. The first is a blistering consideration of the stresses of modern life while Music Must Destroy is a much needed reminder of why the hell a lot of us got into this scene – a belief that ivory towers need shaking. The album is a triumphant reminder of the power and energy that can still be unleashed by Ruts DC with storming tracks such as Kill the Pain and Vox Teardrop.
However, it is two of the album’s slower tracks that catch the attention most. Peace Bomb is a psychedelic trippy gem that does as the title suggests. It’s an ‘All You Need Is Love’ for the Post-Punk generation and is an album highlight. The final track is the moving elegy of Golden Boy, a bitter-sweet reminder of the tragedy and sadness that hangs like a veil over the career of Ruts DC. It’s a haunting ballad that brings to mind what was taken from us with the death of Malcolm Owen when Segs sings lines like “Boy, you know you’ll never grow old” and “who knows what could have been”. A moving climax to one of the albums of the year.
Music Must Destroy is available now.
Ruts DC: Left to right – Dave Ruffy, Segs and Leigh Hegarty