Wishin’ I were in Michi­gan — and Al­bu­querque

Pasatiempo - - Terrel's Tune-Up - Steve Ter­rell

From the days of Mo­town, through the proto-punk era of the MC5, go­ing into the garage-rock ’ 90s with The Gories and The Detroit Co­bras, and cul­mi­nat­ing com­mer­cially with The White Stripes, the city of Detroit has been a de­pend­able breed­ing ground for rock ’ n’ roll.

A band called The Ru­in­ers does noth­ing to ruin the rep­u­ta­tion of the Mo­tor City. In fact, the group’s new al­bum, Happy Birth­day

Bitch, fits into the city’s proud tra­di­tion. Fronted by Rick Ru­iner, aka Rick Lap­pin (a re­cent fea­ture in the Detroit Press re­ferred to him as the group’s “singer/stunt­man”) and Rus­sian-born singer Nina Fri­day (that’s her on the cover), the band has a rep­u­ta­tion for “set­ting things on fire, strip­ping down on­stage, and oc­ca­sion­ally wind­ing up be­hind bars” — that’s from Chicago mu­sic critic Jim DeRo­gatis.

This record just explodes with pow­er­ful rock­ers. “Fix That Bro­ken Halo,” which starts off with a roar­ing “yeee haw!” from Fri­day, fea­tures crazy lo­co­mo­tive drum­ming over some wild slide gui­tar. “Char­lie Laine Ate My Brain” is an ode to a real-live porn star. (Re­port­edly, there have been talks about the ac­tress do­ing a video for the song.)

“Sugar Buzz” is a sweet crunch­ing ode to a young lady en­joy­ing treats at Dairy Queen, while “Sub­ur­ban Cop” is a high-charged, hopped-up in­sult to law en­force­ment (“Hey, cop, con­grat­u­la­tions, you just found my crotch!”). If The Ru­in­ers were bet­ter known, politi­cians across the coun­try would be call­ing for their heads.

And while it’s a fine lit­tle rock ’n’ roll tune, do your­self a fa­vor, guys, and don’t play the ti­tle song for your wife or sweet­heart on her birth­day. Find The Ru­in­ers at www.prav­damu­sic.com.

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