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New Ruins Hatch an Escape Plan on Debut EP

new ruins

Jack Shirley’s profile as a producer has taken the same upward trajectory as Deafheaven, the band he has worked with since their 2010 demo. This has allowed the producer to work with acts such as Oathbreaker, Jeff Rosenstock, and King Woman in the past few years. Despite the increasing demand for his time (he also owns The Atomic Garden Recording Studio in California and plays in two bands himself), he still seeks out young bands to work with.

Despite lacking pedigree (being unaware of the members’ previous acts Wax, Heisse, and Open Borders will never cost someone on Jeopardy) and probably much of a budget, it’s easy to hear what attracted Shirley to New Ruins.

The band takes the adventurous spirit of Calculating Infinity-era Dillinger Escape Plan — especially guitarist Yousef Mousavi who is so hyperactive it’s sometimes hard to believe he doesn’t share six-string duties — with an emphasis on jazz-core time signatures. It’s used to great effect on “Jean City,” with a seismic shifting controlled chaos, whiplash-inducing thrash that stops on a dime, restarts and flies away at the speed of sound. Meanwhile, drummer Lucas FG is let loose on “Dagger,” adding a busy military overdrive to the choruses — if he got paid by the beat he’d be wealthy and still underpaid. Vocalist Nick Jones does no disservice to the band, with a powerful but staid yelp that allows his bandmates to skillfully operate around the fringes.

Injecting jazzy progressiveness into screamo is not unheard of, but it’s not all that common either. The heretofore best example of it came on a Kurt Ballou-produced disc The Moon is a Dead World by a Brooklyn band called Gospel. They disbanded in 2006 — only a year after their one and only release which is supposedly getting a vinyl repress on Repeater Records before the year is out.

New Ruins gives that cult classic a run for its money, which is no mean feat. If the best is yet to come for New Ruins, the mind boggles at what that might sound like.

New Ruins released August 9th. Follow the band on Facebook.
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