Review Summary: The latest incarnation of Ruins isn't nearly as good as its predecessor.
Sax Ruins is a fairly ingenious moniker indicating an accretion by way of Ono Ryoko's alto sax and flute to Yoshida Tatsuya's already chaotic punk come choose your own genre adventure. The statement of a true percussive virtuoso, Ruins has always been a wildly experimental affair - ranging from prog and punk in every flavor, to free jazz, and encompassing Japan's burgeoning noise scene - Tatsuya's brainchild satiates the most ADD appetite. Ryoko's woodwind offering tweaks the "traditional" formula (in the broadest sense), offering a distinct dose of ska and further apprisal of past jazz meanderings with an instrument made for swing. And swing it does - again, and again, and again, and again. Furious in their insistence on repetitive, staccato chorus sections used to offset dissonant breakdowns, Yawiquo
is mostly a collection of frustrating, upper-register, multi-tracked warblings with no low end. Exacerbating the situation, without electronics available for effects-driven atmospherics and noise, the duo resorts to enough high-pitched horn-squealing to induce more headaches than you could shake a fistful of analgesics at. It's truly a travesty; Tatsuya's drumming is still brilliant as ever, and Ryoko's jazz passages are commendable - yet this cannot save compositions that employ a blunt trauma method of cerebrum infiltration. What finally lies before any self respecting listener is a choice between an ill-begotten, jumbled mass of technical wizardry, merely destined to be forgotten... and earplugs. For connoisseurs of all things Ipecac, listen to "Gravestone" and the title track closer; beware of anything else.