Album review

The Ruts - 999

999

999/SEPARATES

BOTH EMI

From the siren that opens The Ruts' "Babylon's Burning", the first track off these two EMI repackagings of classic punk fare, we're bovver-booted back to Fatcher's Britain with vigour and vividness. Digital remastering emasculates the rawness but highlights the power-pop credentials of Southall's finest—"Staring At The Rude Boys" was a crafty Jam/Clash hybrid, and there's bucketloads more invention and chops than was normally put before the crophead unwashed. "Jah War" inhales the ganja of honky dub as convincingly as anything by The Clash, and "Love In Vain" is a bizarre white-boy stab at lovers' rock.

The Ruts died in 1980 with lead singer Malcolm Owen, and therefore didn't play into their dotage in endless punk revival festivals. That is 999's richly-deserved fate, for, like this set, it gives new generations a chance to despise their caricature, underpowered, nerdy hybrid of punk and R&B, still sounding like a genre parody by Kenny Everett on an off day. Makes Eater sound as classy as Shostakovich.

Rating: 4 / 10


Newsletter


Editor's Letter

White Fence, OOIOO, Ty Segall, other stuff...


One of the many privileges and occasional disorientations of working for a monthly music mag is that we hear some music so far ahead of release that it can be easy to forget when the albums actually come out. So while the world of Ty Segall-related projects might have moved on...