Rob Jones

Ruts DC are back and the album Music must Destroy has more to do with their punk power as opposed to their dub diligence. The single Psychic Attack kicks off proceedings at a fast and furious pace that proves that this band can still cut the momentum mustard! From there the title track does not put its foot to the pedal but its vehemence is evident from the visceral vocals and the guitar gusto. Surprise is next and this fiery fare is as close to a Malcolm Owen led tune by The Ruts as proceedings can get. This tune would not be out of place on The Crack and that is a major compliment! Ruts DC picked up the pieces after the death of Owen in 1980 and their appearances on the sonic circuit ceased in 1982 but since 2007 they are a fully functioning band with original Ruts John ‘Segs’ Jennings (bass and vocals) and Dave Ruffy (drums) to the fore.

The 2016 band can also write a sublime song and the likes of Second Hand Child and Soft City Lights do not need to race along like out of control juggernauts. The melodic cores present show that not only can these lads punk it up or dub it down but they can also fill the gaps in between. Then to add to the musical meals there are the diatribe dressings which prove that these guys are also storytellers and campaigners with a voice that needs to be heard by a wider audience.

So far so good and the moods may change but the standards do not drop.  Kill the Pain is back up there but it can wed muscle with subtle as it has a message to tell. From there Peace Bomb slows the proceedings down and gets slightly 60s. The calls for harmony amongst humans via a Kinks songwriting quality rises to the surface. Next up Tears on Fire has an incredibly catchy chorus with hooks aplenty through its duration, its variables may put it in the driving seat as the top tune on this accomplished record. The Vox is the penultimate number and this kicks off as a Pete Townsend tirade with the spirit of Malcolm looming over the lyrics. Then to close, things drop a succession of gears as we drift off with the dreamy Golden Boy (which may well be an ode to the late Owen).

To add further interest to proceedings this work has been aided and abetted by Boz Boorer (Morrissey) Captain Sensible (The Damned) Jake Burns (SLF) Kirk Brandon (Spear of Destiny) and last but by no means least Henry Rollins. The Ruts DC also have the approval of Pete Townsend and there is no doubt that The Who could adopt some of the tunes present. The regal reggae of Rhythm Collision Vol 1 & 2 had Ruts DC move away from up tempo gusto but the new work displays a punch and passion from both the head and the heart! Ruts DC are a multi-faceted proposition but one fact is crystal clear: Babylon is still Burning!