Archive for February, 2012

DEAD CITY RUINS – MIDNIGHT KILLER Album Review

Posted in Records on February 17, 2012 by Cameron Cooper

Despite the first two tracks indicating it as such, to call Dead City Ruins’ debut full-length Midnight Killer a sleaze metal album would be to do the band a dis-service, as it is far more diverse than that. The Melbourne quartet (now a five piece) take a great deal of influence from across the metal and rock n’ roll board, releasing a fun, catchy and heavy album.

Lets get something straight, though – there isn’t anything particularly glammy about this band.

Sure, there may be influences from that particular genre throughout, but these guys are a dirty, honest bunch of rock n’ rollers. This album is free of pretence, and chock full of excess – just the way it should be.

What hits home the most about the album for me is it’s sheer bottom end. The bass playing leaps between relentless, doomy fuzz to clean accompaniments, and at times the band seems to have more in common with Witchfinder General’s faster moments than Motley Crue.

Other moments on the album, such as “My Lai Massacre” wouldn’t sound out of place on a Dio album, with each member showing off their chops – from heavy bass fuzz, to killer metallic leads and soaring vocals. Oh, and the lyrics kick-arse, too.

For much of the album, however, it isn’t so cut and dry as to what genre each song falls into. The band have achieved a cross-section of influences on many of the tracks, with bluesy rock n’ roll riffs shoulder-to-shoulder with speed metal sections.

Not content to follow the traditional formula, DCR bring the tempo down, free of cliche, with the aptly titled “Blues”. This track is heavy and eerie, with singer Jake Wiffen whispering his way into an evil, downright creepy dude. Like every song on this album, the band takes the listener through highs and lows, with the song turning on its head two or three times before it is over. Definitely the stand out track on the album.

Everything on the album are elements you will have heard before, but mixed together in quite this way – not so much. The band definitely summons the ghosts of music’s past, but putting enough of their own spin on these influences to dodge the pit of becoming a throw-back band. This is true, straight-up rock n’ metal. What’s not to love?

Dead City Ruins + Rampage, Metal @ The Town Hall Hotel 11/2/12

Posted in Shows on February 14, 2012 by Cameron Cooper

In the world of rock n’ roll and heavy metal, it isn’t surprising that sometimes things don’t go as planned. Problems occur for bands which can stunt or put a stop to their gigs all together, and it can be a very frustrating experience for all involved. This can result in bands kicking up a stink sometimes about the problems – but it is good to know that there are still bands out there who manage to take it in their stride, which is exactly what tonight’s headliners, Melbourne’s Dead City Ruins, did.

Saturday night at the Town Hall Hotel in Newtown started out with heavy metal four piece Metal, who are continuing to improve every time I see them. The band unleashed a new song or two, and whilst song writing and overall performance is improving, a certain tightness is still lacking from the band – occasionally slipping out of otherwise decent rhythms and riffs. However, some fantastic lead guitar work, anthemic choruses and a “fuckin’ metal” attitude ensure the band are living up to their namesake. Metal are a great band to have a beer to, bang a head with, and just bask in the glory that is HEAVY METAL!

Cranking up the amps, attitude and chaos to the absolute max, Rampage took the stage and drew a large, thrash-hungry crowd. Having just played a set with Metal didn’t slow axe-man “Chinch” down one iota, who manage to compensate for the absence of fellow guitarist Shane Saw for the night. Rampage create in the room the very atmosphere they sing about, with the whole place turning into a true “Headbanger Hell”, and a thrashified cover of “Born To Be Wild” proves to be quite the crowd pleaser.

Once the sonic dust from Rampage’s set settled, Dead City Ruins were soon to take the stage. After a great instrumental start, singer Jake Wiffen leapt from the audience to join his band members.

Exactly what follows I’m not too sure, and I don’t wish to speculate, but there seemed to be a few problems, with Wiffen’s otherwise outstanding vocals being lost in the mix. After two songs, the power was cut.

The band didn’t, and still haven’t made any sort of fuss about it, with a simple “Power has been cut, cheers”, and they were off. A commendable way to handle a bad situation. It was definitely unfortunate, as the two opening numbers were promising slabs of hard n’ heavy rock n’ roll. As such, I didn’t manage to snag a shot of the band in performance, but Jake was good enough to give me a snap of his smiling mug, and a free CD.

This was gearing up to be an excellent gig, and it is really unfortunate that the band travelled all the way from Melbourne only to be cut short. Whatever the reasons for the power cut, one can only hope Dead City Ruins will return to Sydney soon to finish what they started, and I will most definitely be there!Image