EVERYTHING IS RUINED: S/T: CD-R

Nine songs couched nicely between Astrid Oto’s crazed screech and the unabashed melodies of defunct Cincinnati punks, The Messengers. The recording’s a bit ragged, but it’s one of those times when it seems to accent rather than detract. There’s some strong male/female vocal interplay (probably the best thing the band’s got going for them is the creativity of their co-vocalists), laid over some punchy, solid musicianship. Self-proclaimed influences are Rivethead and La Quiete, and while they’re certainly not up to the caliber of either of those bands—those are big shoes to fill—I can see what they’re getting at, and fully expect them to be slaying by the next release. The lyrics are also really great—coming across as very humble and down-to-earth, intelligently acknowledging personal struggles while retaining that ever-elusive glimmer of hope. My only complaint (it’s a small one and yeah, I know I’m in the minority here) is that graphically, visually, the presentation’s a little thin. The chipboard packaging is nice, but the blank-paper CD face, Xeroxed insert, and sticker on the front cover smacks of carelessness or a rush job. The music is all there, you guys, and it’s some pretty solid work. Now give us something to look at.

 –keith (Everything Is Ruined)