Review Summary: An excellent post-punk outing from this Houston, Texas band.
The current punk/post-punk scene has become so routine in many ways, that you practically even don’t expect any fresh ideas anymore. Ok, so if you can’t get any new ideas, how about getting inspired by some good ones and coming up with some exciting playing" By itself, that could actually bring up new ideas and truly intriguing music.
On the evidence of Typecast, their second album proper, Houston Texas post-punk quartet Ruiners give an indication that such thing is possible. After all, hasn’t Texas given us 13th Floor Elevators, one of the original, first-generation punk bands"
No psych leanings with Ruiners though, they thrive on the energy and some angular chops, characteristic of The Gang of Four (“Khandaan”), Fugazi (“Raptor”), or The Minutemen (“Nafrat”) with an exquisitely strong dual guitar/ dual vocal attack that doesn’t lack in playing at any level. If you need any more current comparisons, Protomartyr is the band that comes to mind. Most importantly, Ruiners do also show an indication of bringing in new elements into the routine post-punk sound, best evidenced here with penultimate track “Liquid.”
On the evidence of the album, it seems that they have a very exciting and energetic live show, which they obviously tried to transfer to the recorded sound. On the evidence of the opener “No” or “Outside”, or actually any other of the nine tracks here, they were successful in doing so, making this a perfect choice for playing it at top loudness level with all the windows and doors open.
With all the high energy levels, excellent playing and indications of moving the post-punk sound forward, Ruiners try to keep the social engagement level up, as did The Gang of Four and Fugazi, some of the obvious inspirations here. As Shan Pasha, one of the guitar players/vocalists says, “Nafrat” (hate in Urdu, language spoken in Pakistan and parts of India) is “based on the many tragic events that occurred during the writing process for the album” and “the music and sounds ultimately try to elevate above the sickening feeling that comes from those tragedies.” This engagement is evident throughout and it suitably tells with the excellent sounds Ruiners were able to produce on Typecast. All in all, an excellent effort.