Sound — 8
This is an absolutely brutal, stark raving honest, almost grungey, hard rock/metal album with a feminine twist. It opens and finishes with two spoken word observations, "Morning Prayer" and "Evening Prayer" (religious imagery is used throughout the album) which definitely makes the songs in between more atmospheric. After "Morning Prayer," the album starts with the song "Beauty Fiend" about how women are portayed in the media. It sounds like very very heavy grunge interspersed with some amazing riffs. "Stick It To Me" opens after that, its fast and repetitive but also quite addictive, and maybe the heaviest song on the album. In "Sanctuary," vocalist Tairrie B takes a short trip back to her rapper roots, in a song that may appeal to newer listeners to My Ruin. The song "Miss Ann Thrope" is also well worth a mention. Its almost darkly humourous, and guest vocals from Jessicka Fodera (Jack Off Jill) are a welcome break from constant screaming. This song seems to act as a sort of interval. "Rockstar" is one of the best songs on the album, a tribute to Lynn Strait (Snot). It opens with guitarist Mick Murphy saying, "This girl is harder than all you motherfuckers out there, alright. Just let me get that one thing perfectly clear" before exploding into a fantastic riff which then accompanies some of the most fantastic screaming you'll ever hear! Towards the end of the album, there is a cover of Nick Caves "Do You Love Me" which is a nice, mellow close to the album. This is a fantastic album - one of the tightest I've heard. It just works, and without sounding calculated, which is a risk with music like this.
Lyrics — 6
The lyrics at best can be described as challenging, opinionated, brutally honest but at worst, arrogant and egocentric. They are, however, refreshingly cathartic, anger minus the standard testosterone-fuelled gore. "Beauty Fiend" and "Stick It To Me" are both angry songs challenging the critics and expressing feminist views. "Can't you see beyond my skin? Size, my shape, my ass, my tits? I am not your pretty face." (Beauty Fiend) This lyric clearly expresses exactly how Tairrie B does NOT want to be viewed. Its a simplistic lyric but one which gets the point across quite effectively. The same honesty is continued in "Stick It To Me" - "Doesn't matter what I say, doesn't matter what I do, I don't really give a f--k about you." When the song "Heartsick" comes around, this is where the lyrics definitely improve, and the religious imagery is introduced, in a controversial manner. The second verse reads, "Early mourning exorcisms keep me awake - seven stars surround me as I burn like a saint - I can't remember why my knees are so sore - the bible tells us mary was a whore." It also includes the depressing lyric, "Love is not safe in a world filled with hate" which clearly expresses a particular view on life. My favourite lyric on the album is in the song "Letter To The Editor" and it goes "My heart is an empty hole, hands wanna wrap around your throat" just because of how completely truthful and honest it is. Tairrie B also manages to justify everything she says in this song, with the lyric, "I say these things because I can!" Another excellent lyric is in "Let It Rain" - "If I confess too many sins, will you still save me?"
Overall Impression — 8
This is an excellent album and I find it disappointing that they re-hashed it so many times (To Britain With Love... And Bruises/Blasphemous Girl). I've also lost considerable respect for Tairrie B lately with what seems like an abuse of power on her part. (She wrote the song "Stinkface" about her ex-bassist, who played bass on the song and performed it live with her) However, this album in itself is an absolute classic, one that I kept on repeat for a whole summer. Its found a nice balance between old school and nu skool metal, so pretty much every alternative music fan can find something to enjoy. Its difficult to describe, almost technically simplistic, if that makes any sense at all. I would say its definitely the definitive My Ruin release and much better than any of their other releases - well worth buying.