My Ruin

MyRuin-01AMy Ruin is an American alternative metal band from Los Angeles, CA, formed in 1999. My Ruin, at its core, is Tairrie B (vocals) and her husband Mick Murphy (guitars), with various other members joining them over the years. Tairrie B formed the band after her previous group Tura Satana disbanded.MyRuin-02A My Ruin‘s heavy sound mixes extreme metal with industrial influences, and Tairrie B’s aggressive vocal style mixes melodic singing, screams, rap and spoken word. She uses this band to exorcise her personal demons, raging out, often, against mysogyny and the objectification of women, and she has the voice and stage persona to make you respect her, or even fear her. I love this quote from a Classic Rock magazine review: “Tairrie B doesn’t so much open her heart to you as rip it still beating from a gaping wound in her chest before forcing the bloody mess down your throat.” That is beautiful. My Ruin has released 7 studio albums to date, with their 8th to be released on June 11, 2013.

MyRuin-07My Ruin‘s debut, Speak & Destroy (1999), was recorded and released before Tairrie B met Mick Murphy and was, in effect, a Tairrie B solo album, and her mission statement. The album opens with a brief but apt sound bite: “The musician’s began to tune up, though it seemed a pointless exercise considering the type of music they were going to play.”MyRuin-06 In “Terror”, the first single, she says: “I have the right to remain silent / But I choose to speak, sing, scream / I am lips, hips, tits.” Then, later: “I point my finger, take the blame / And this time I will own the name / Because no one is going to ruin me / If I have to, I will ruin myself / And it will be my ruin.” In “Monster”, she adds: “I’ll be your monster when we speak / And I will speak to destroy.” And, in “Diavolina”, she says: “This is a mantra / So be warned / Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” Yeah, I don’t think that song is about shoes. Also, a cover of Soft Cell‘s “Tainted Love” was released as a second single, and the fiery track “Sick With It” appeared on the soundtrack to the 1999 Nicholas Cage film 8MM.

Watch the video for “Terror” here:

My Ruin‘s second album, A Prayer Under Pressure of Violent Anguish (2000), was the first with Mick Murphy, and, it introduced the band’s heavier sound, driven by Murphy’s sludgy Black Sabbath-esque riffs.MyRuin-05 This album is my favorite My Ruin album. The first single, “Beauty Fiend”, is Tairrie B’s response to music critics who perceive her looks and body as part of her talent: “Why can’t you see beyond my skin / Size, my shape, my ass, my tits / I am not your pretty face / I’m just a girl, the girl you love to hate.” This song is one of My Ruin‘s best, but the album is filled with great tracks. The excellent “Rockstar” is a tribute to Tairrie B’s friend Lynn Straight, singer of nu metal/punk band Snot who died in 1998. “Miss Ann Thrope” features Jessicka of Jack Off Jill. “Heartsick” kicks out the biggest Black Sabbath influence, riff-wise, while “Let It Rain”, “Sanctuary” (which recalls Tura Satana‘s rapcore) and “Hemorrhage” are other cool tracks. This album also includes two covers: Nick Cave‘s “Do You Love Me” and Black Flag‘s “My War”, in which Mick shares vocals with Tairrie B.

MyRuin-04The Horror of Beauty (2003) is a grander indictment of objectification and, in particular, the impossible ideals for women set by the patriarchal mass media. And, it rocks!MyRuin-03 In the awesome “Made To Measure” Tairrie B offers advice to the women who don’t fit the type: “You don’t have to be sorry / You don’t have to be saved / You just need to be proud / Of the body that God gave.” And, in “Get Pretty”, she mocks the ones who buy into it: “Get pretty, plastic parts not included / Get pretty, get pretty / Silicone sold separately.” In “Weightless”, she rages at the oppressors: “Insincerity, insecurity, no integrity / There’s no purity / I will not apologize for scaring you / You are everything wrong with America.” But, she knows exactly who’s to blame. In “Ten Minutes to Hollywood”, she says: “Tell us lies, we believe you / Close your eyes, we won’t see you / Take our lives, if you need to / Suck us dry, let us feed you.” Other cool tracks are “Burn the Witch”, “Radio Silence” and “Rid of Me”. And, “Stage Fright” is a cool but short Black Sabbath-esque instrumental that opens the album.

Watch the video for “Made to Measure” here:

My Ruin‘s next two albums, The Brutal Language (2005) and Throat Full of Heart (2008), offered more sludgy riffs and aggresseive vocals but with less urgency. “Spilling Open”, “The Devil Walks”, and “Cold Hands, Warm heart” are good tracks from The Brutal Language, but “Vince Vaughn”, a love letter to the actor, is the best. They also cover Mudhoney‘s grunge classic “Touch Me I’m Sick”. On Throat Full of Heart, “Ready For Blood”, “Memento Mori” and “Me Without You” are standouts.

Watch the video for “Ready For Blood” here:

On Ghosts & Good Stories (2010), My Ruin‘s sound is cleaner but Mick’s riffs are still sludgy, and Tairrie B’s vocals, still abrasive. This album is the best My Ruin album since The Horror of Beauty. Tairrie B frequently uses religious metaphors in lyrics about relationships. She’s said, in interviews, that The Bible is sometimes her muse. And, in “Long Dark Night”, she reiterates that: “Hail Mary, full of grace / Be my muse and give me strength.” Tracks like “Excommunicated”, “Saviorself”, “Malediction”, and this album’s best track “Repose”, are all laced with religiosity.

Watch the video for “Long Dark Night” here:

My Ruin‘s 7th album, A Southern Revelation, is my least favorite My Ruin album. The band returned to Mick Murphy’s Southern roots by recording this album in his hometown of Knoxville, TN, and the vibe is reflected in his riffs. This album is not bad, just not my favorite. “Highly Explosive”, in which Tairrie B screams hardly at all, is, surprisingly, cool; and “Walk of Shame”, which kicks out some Zeppelin-esque riffs, is pretty cool. They also cover Van Halen’s “Mean Streets”. The album was released as a free download on their Bandcamp website. Check it out.

Watch the video for “Tennessee Elegy” here:

MyRuin-09MyRuin-10AMy Ruin Discography
1999.08.23 – Speak and Destroy [Album]
2000.09.18 – A Prayer Under Pressure of Violent Anguish [Album]
2001.02.26 – To Britain with Love… And Bruises (Live) [Album]
2003.08.18 – The Shape of Things to Come… [EP]
2003.10.20 – The Horror of Beauty [Album]
2005.11.07 – The Brutal Language [Album]
2008.01.18 – Throat Full of Heart [Album]
2008.11.02 – Alive On The Other Side (Live) [Album]
2010.09.20 – Ghosts and Good Stories [Album]
2011.12.07 – A Southern Revelation [Album]
2013.06.11 – The Sacred Mood [Album]

TURA SATANA

Manhole-01Tairrie B’s first band was Manhole, a rapcore band that raged out against rape, the right to choose, violence against women, and, well, little else. Their debut, All Is Not Well (1996), is an amazingly brutal and powerful feminist statement. But, then, Manhole, for legal reasons, changed their name to Tura Satana, after the star of Russ Meyer‘s 1965 cult classic Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and released an excellent second album,TuraSatana-01 Relief Through Release (1997), which was more nu metal, less rapcore. However, I prefer All Is Not Well. In the intro to “Put Your Head Out”, Tairrie B declares, “My pussy, my choice!” then, kicks into a pro-choice rap over a Rage Against the Machine-ish groove. The song ends with Tairrie B stating: “And, I’m-a fight for my fucking right!” But, the most powerful track is the anti-rape anthem “Victim”. The song opens with spoken word as Tairrie B drops some rape statistics, then, as the riff kicks in, she screams, “Cuz I ain’t your fucking victim!” The final track, “Down (Reprise)” is just a beat over which Tairrie B raps off the names of her favorite bands like Jack Off Jill, Danzig, Slipknot, Rage Against the Machine, Korn, White Zombie, Marilyn Manson, etc. In the end, she says, “So if you didn’t hear your name, then fuck you, you ain’t down with the Manhole crew. Bitch.”

Watch the video for “Luna” from Relief Through Release here:

Tura Satana Discography
1996 – All Is Not Well [Album]
1997 – Relief Through Release [Album]

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3 responses to “My Ruin

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