Ruins: Tzomborgha (and a Detour into John Zorn)
I find that few other bands provide the simple, visceral pleasure of Ruins, led by best-drummer-in-the-world contender Tatsuya Yoshida. What astounded me when I first discovered Ruins, and what continues to bring me a certain degree of joy, is that the band that created the sounds you hear above is a duo. With only two members, the band is somehow able to conjure up enough frenetic energy to put most thrash punk bands to shame. Most of the time, when rock fans who are up on their history tell the story of rock in the 1970s, punk and prog rock are the primary contestants, with the latter collapsing into dust before the onslaught of the former. Forms of prog rock that align with more avant-garde jazz tendencies, though, tend to sound more like punk than fans of the latter would probably admit. And there remain huge gaps in terms of approach and values. What we should all acknowledge is that, whether generated through anarchic passion or mind-bending technical shredding or a combination of both, it’s tremendous fun to let music burst through staid conventions.
For those entranced by the thrash/jazz/prog combo you hear above should consult the work of John Zorn, whose encyclopedic eclecticism is unmatched in the jazz world today. He’s one of the most talented noise architects in the business, and with him, no genre is sacred.
Definitely more influenced by metal, though with wild improvised vocals courtesy of Mike Patton, who lends the whole affair an air of distinguished Satanic glee. Or, if you rather, the rage of pure id. In music like this, we see that the boundaries between pure noise and music, between genres, and maybe even between enjoyment and cringing, are pretty artificial. Just let the sound twist you and throw you to the floor–if you take it in stride, it’s less likely to put you in the hospital.