Wishin’ I were in Michigan — and Albuquerque
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.