If you dig deep enough into the emo core of the mid-nineties, you’ll certainly tread past bands like Fugazi and Drive Like Jehu, into the depths of bands like Unwound and June of 44. While none of these were as big as some of the bands who used the emo tag later on, their intense sounds have really only shown up in snippets of others acts’ music. Houston’s Ruiners don’t follow trends. They’ve always been a bit off of center, which is what’s always made them as intriguing as they are intense. On their latest release Typecast, they pick up the torch that bands like June of 44 and Unwound left behind, only to make it darker and more bleak to represent these modern times.
To the untrained ear, the opening track “No” might remind you of latter era Fugazi, but the darker subject matter and vocals snapping from speaker to speaker create an intensity that the D.C. group didn’t do enough. This continues into the second track, “Swipe,” where the lyrics ‘swipe right, swipe left’ repeat. There’s an almost ominous tone in how the guitars intertwine on the track complete with a tambourine that you’d think would play as cheesy, but it works. A possible nod to modern dating, the band tackles the subject with ease, making you wonder who they’d ever match with.
The dark emo tinged tones the band employs continues into the fourth track, “Raptor,” in many ways emulating bands like Nation of Ulysses and even Mission of Burma. The two most melodic tracks come together with sixth song “Vice” first, where the band plays these sonic pings coming from a mix of playing the strings near the tuning keys and hints of feedback coming off their amplifiers. The second, the lead single “Outside” is the most catchy track of the album, and the only one that gets close to how the band sounded prior to this release. It’s quick, it’s catchy, and it doesn’t let up.
The brooding and distant sounds of “Glowing” close the album off, and should take you further down the emo core rabbit hole. Ruiners isn’t playing for a group of people who want to live by rules of what they think punk is, because the band is reinventing what punk can be.
You can stream Typecast on all streaming platforms, you can purchase it in all digital store fronts including Bandcamp, or you can purchase vinyls directly from Geodesic Records. Ruiners is set to go on tour in early January, beginning in Austin at Beerland on January 03 and ending back in Houston at The Shed on January 14. You can find all of their tour dates listed here.