Sound: The Ruse are a combination of several modern rock influences from Yellowcard's glam-rock raptures to Snow Patrol's melodic rock rustling. The quartet's third full-length album, Midnight In The City, has tracks with gashes of soaring crescendos while others are cart in dreamy plumes of wavy electrolytes. Vocalist John Dauer grabs the reins with a might reminiscent of Chris Daughtry as guitarist Jim Bilus fluctuates the chord dynamics between blustery rapids to lightly sprinkled dewdrops. The rhythm section of bassist Mark Stolze and drummer Jason Young are the backbone of the band holding the tracks upright. Produced by Jorge Vivo, Midnight In The City, was made to be played in arenas from the stocky layers of Beautiful Is Gone to the dreamy cascades of Time & Place.
The soft billowy beats of Collide are trellised in shimmery guitar chords, and the punk-inspired raptures of Sit Down Stare Out and Come Here Come On tear through the chord progressions with a tornado-like roar. The grazing riffs of Satellite are reflective of Civil Twilight, and the stylish guitar ringlets of Contagious cobble a pleasing choir of melodic motifs ruddered by cruising motions. The echoey guitar vibrations of Swallow You show reflections of U2, and the soft rustling in the title track feels like it was made from lightly splattered crystals and delicately shining moonbeams. It is an album with a romantic hue and a penchant for firing off glam-rock pellets. // 8
Lyrics: The lyrics relate to a modern-day existence comparable to living in a vat of turmoil where people are fickle and situations change randomly. One of the main lyrical themes is trying to find one's way through a maze that seems to be littered with dead-ends and blocked passages like in Beautiful Is Gone. Dauer reflects in the song, Blindly, I let you destroy me / Love is not so beautiful when your lungs are caving in and beautiful's gone / Oh don't lie to me when we both know, baby / Beautiful is gone. Through the struggles and conflicts encountered in life, the songs have a optimistic glint in them like things may go badly but no one should have to resign themselves to an unfulfilling existence. // 8
Overall Impression: The Ruse make music for the masses. Their songs relate to everyday circumstances in a language that is easy to comprehend. They may not be a household name now but by tomorrow everything can change. Their music has an attractive quality which is relatable to melodic rock artists like Snow Patrol and Civil Twilight. Midnight In The City follows The Ruse's sophomore release Light In Motion and their debut record Invasion. A few songs from The Ruse have been placed in MTV's The Hills and HBO's series Entourage but their songs are really arena-ready and made to be played for a larger stage. // 8