Left In Ruin - Cursed - Independent 2005
5 Songs
Running Time: 21:56

Fuckin' finally! Something reviewable from SE Michigan's own Left In Ruin. Now, here's fair warning. Not only do I know this band personally, I'd count at least a couple of the members among my friends, so if there was ever a CD about which I had a bias, this would be it. It isn't, though, because that's just not how things are done here. So onward and downward, my children, into the booze-filled swamp that is Left In Ruin.

Much has changed in the world of LIR since I first had the misfortune of picking up a flyer for their first show around two years ago. The band has grown from an off-the-cuff side project that the members would fuck around with, time permitting, into a band in the truest sense of the word. Sure, most of the members still have other projects that demand their time, but now there seems to be a focus on at least giving this band its due. The musical differences also became apparent once a blues-drenched guitar solo began 'Freestyle'. There's always been a bit of blues sensibility in Left In Ruin's sound, but when the rest of the band clocks in, it's barrelhouse Rock 'N' Roll (yep, them's capital letters, fucker!). Lest the term "rock 'n' roll" send all you unbelievably underground metal fans running with visions of prepackaged shit like Jet, allow me to explain briefly. The Rock of LIR hearkens back to daze of old, when all you needed was a Marshall stack, and American-made guitar, and enough booze to float an ocean liner to create memorable Rock. One can draw a direct line between seminal bands like Mountain and Nazareth straight on through the decades to bands such as COC, Floodgate, and The Mighty Nimbus. Well, now we can add Left In Ruin to that list with no problem. Lastly, of special note is the addition of a frontman who can not only sing, but can do so with feeling and conviction. New throat Dann Coburn must fly down to Georgia now and again to drink with the almighty Dave Slocum of Artimus Pyledriver, because they both have that same Southern Rawk twang that can only be rendered legitimate as a result of birth or inebriation. Turns out, he's not a bad harmonica player either. 'Medicate The Snake' reworks the old standby (and exit theme for my radio show when I was workin' for The Man) 'Exit Stage Left' to great effect. Where the song suffered before was from the too-passive vocals, and not being and entirely fleshed-out idea. This new version features both new lyrics and isn't so reliant on that beginning groove, heavy and devilish though it may have been. The harmonica previously mentioned crops up on 'Evil Came From The Rib Of Man', but it's with 'Labored Tenfold' that the metal fans will convert to the black hand path of Left In Ruin. Take the redneck buzzed-out mentality of Down's first album, and kick it around with background vocals in the vein of hardcore greats Diecast, then you have some idea of what's going on.

Sure, this is a band close to my heart, because they've been with Rebel Extravaganza ever since ever. Sure, the band still doesn't have a website per se, but fuck! Bands like this kicked ass all over the place pre-internet and got along just fine. A new chapter in local music is being written by bands like this, heedless of all the trend-hopping scenesters who only go to shows because a couple of the members are rock stars. As the band says..."Someone in Michigan hates me.".


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