New Ruins - This Life is Not Ours To Keep - CD (2011)

Labels: Earth Analog
Review by: Andy Malcolm

I am rather partial to the first New Ruins album, “œThe Sound They Make”, released back in 2007, so was pretty keen to hear what they were up to a few years later. Things haven’t changed a huge amount, this is still neatly constructed indie rock with a little bit of a darker, Americana / Neil Young tinge, mixed in with something like Mojave 3. And it gets off to a fine start with the strong “œBlackbirds”, a gently paced tune that found it’s way into my affections pretty quickly. Unfortunately the album takes a little bit of a backward step from there and by the midway point my concentration begins to seriously wander, there isn’t quite enough to keep the focus, and none of the songs really stand out in the way that best songs from their debut did, and still do. I appreciate the downtempo, downtrodden feel that they embed into their sound and there are a few moments on here that wake me up again, just for the most part I don’t really think they have developed their sound to the extent I would have hoped and expected – it seems more that they are treading water and I am left with the nagging feeling that, although perfectly listenable, this album is just a tiny bit bland.

Bonus points for featuring Roy Ewing on drums.