By Carl Begai
When a band releases an album for free, the knee-jerk reaction is to dismiss it as a collection of odds and bits that aren’t worthy of an official “real world” physical release. A Southern Revelation is available at no cost to friend and foe alike (details below), featuring brand new material written and recorded in the wake of a label-instigated shitsorm that would have ripped a lesser band to shreds. Call it nine shots of venom capped off with a chaser celebrating the good old days, served up as a middle finger dedicated to Tiefdruck Musik boss Daniel Heerdman following the botched release of My Ruin’s previous record, Ghosts And Good Stories.
A bloodletting rather than an exorcism, vocalist Tairrie B. Murphy tears down Heerdmann, false promises, industry politics and the posers it spawns, ever the elegant wordsmith whether she’s a raging scream or calculated spoken word. Always a treat to listen to – “listen” being the operative word – lyrical violence abounds, with Tairrie venting in her trademark no-bull fashion on ‘Walk Of Shame’, ‘Middle Finger’, ‘Seventh Sacrament’, ‘Deconsecrated’, and the killing blow, ‘The Soulless Beast’. And while certain folks may feel that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, being compared in song to the devil and stamped as “The Great Pretender” by name should be food for change of thought.
Tairrie’s voices are the razor-tipped hand to guitarist/husband Mick Murphy’s iron glove, who carries her attack on a platform of trademark Black Sabbath-meets-Black Label Society shred. Thank to an album production that’s even more bare bones than Ghosts And Good Stories, with a heavier bottom to boot, Mick offers advanced schooling in riff and dirge without getting in his wife’s space. It’s a balancing act that pays off, particularly on ‘Tennessee Elegy’, ‘Walk Of Shame’ and ‘Seventh Sacrament’. It’s also fair to say that ‘Deconsecrated’ and ‘The Soulless Beast’ are two of the Murphy clan’s finest songs to date thanks to the ear-popping dynamics and over-the-top performances.
It’s worth noting, however, that for all the screaming bloody murder to be had, it’s Mick Murphy’s rock roots that come shining through as the album’s foundation. Maybe it has something to do with the fact it was written and recorded in Knoxville, Tennessee rather than their usual LA haunts. By no means are the songs or performances watered down; on the contrary, they have that top tier garage band appeal.
As for the aforementioned feelgood chaser, My Ruin cap things off with a crushingly dirty rendition of Van Halen’s ‘Mean Streets’. The song may seem out of place at first glance, but for a band that has paid tribute to KISS and AC/DC in similar fashion, it’s a reminder that when the venting is done and the rage is spent, My Ruin is still in it for the love of music.
A Southern Revelation is available for free beginning December 7th. Go to www.myruin.net to download your copy.