Welcome to Demo:listen, your weekly peek into the future of underground metal. Whether it’s death, black, doom, sludge, grind, thrash, heavy, speed, progressive, stoner, retro, post-, punk/, -core, etc. we’re here to bring you the latest demos from the newest bands. On this week’s Demo:listen we give vent to our rage with Rhode Island’s Ruin It!
Ruin It! play intense hardcore like doing so is defending their last refuge of sanity in this increasingly insane and hostile world. Says Matt, Ruin It!’s vocalist: “Dan [drums] and I played in some hardcore bands together back in the 90s and early 00s. Paul [bass], John [guitar], and myself all went to the same high school which had a boomin hardcore punk scene back in the 90s.”
Ruin It! definitely sound like they know they’re hardcore well. Over the years, between the four of them, they’ve done time (though not necessarily together) in bands like Verse, Soul Control (!), Third Death, Whiskey and the Martyr, etc. But for all their experience, Ruin It!’s self-titled demo is so full of rancor and raw energy you’d swear it was their first band, that they were just preternaturally tight.
Although Ruin It! may sound ready to rip your head off, the band stresses that positivity is a large part of their overall mien. Dan, their drummer, says when he listens to hardcore, he’s looking for “pure energy, hopefully positive.” While Paul laments: “People don’t fight for the mic like they used to.”
“The lyrics I wrote when I played in Soul Control were kind of a prequel to the RUIN IT! lyrics,” says Matt. “So much has changed in my life since then. I’ve figured more out about myself and life, and finally gained some insight into mental illness that I had been struggling with for many years and was able to get it under control. I also had begun working as a mental health therapist, doing both office, and home visits. The cities I did home visits for were inner city where all of the abused, neglected, and forgotten people of that area lived. I’ve seen children and adults struggle hard with poverty, mental illness, addiction, physical and sexual abuse, children having children, domestic violence, existential crises, etc. That is also what inspired me to write the lyrics for the Ruin It! EP. The song ‘Locked up Dead’ has a very dark taste of this. Another aspect that changed for me was how I viewed people and the natural change that happens in life. Instead of negating change and being judgmental about people not being the same as they were when I met them 20 years ago, I started to embrace change . . . I started embracing PMA a bit more than previously in my life. I feel like that is clearly reflected in the lyrics.”
There’s lots to love about Ruin It!’s short, but packed-full demo. The snarling guitars, those abrupt changes, that one brief but totally righteous solo in “The Bar.” However short, Ruin It! put everything they had in these nine songs, and managed to find that perfect balance between performing their instruments with practiced skill while sounding constantly on the verge of pushing it all over and full-scale rioting.
Recorded at a friend’s studio, Ruin It!’s self-titled demo is currently available for “name your price” on Bandcamp. The band hopes to see these songs pressed to vinyl at some point. “We’ve discussed recording another ten songs and possibly releasing everything together as a full length. Maybe fill a twelve inch,” says Paul. In the meantime Ruin It!’s going to keep killing it at shows, and writing jams that help you exercise all your pent-up anger before you go and do something useless and stupid with it.
Check this space next and every Friday for another killer demo.