Spins

Ruin Everything!
WE VERSUS THE SHARK
Hello Sir
This brand new Athens, Ga. combo tries to cram an awful lot of hip indie subgenres into its debut full-length - dance-punk, noise, math-rock, and a distinctly Dischord Records-influenced sort of raw, rhythmic experimentation all fight to define the group's schizoid yet surprisingly cohesive style. It's tough to throw so many complicated, idiosyncratic elements into one's music and come up with a winner, and We Versus The Shark's tied-in-knots sound suffers a little for it. But that doesn't mean that Ruin Everything! degenerates into chaos, or that the band completely lacks its own sonic identity. The almost-live production adds a nicely jagged, visceral impact, and the alternating male and female vocals indulge in far more near-melody than this sort of sonic spasm usually delivers. The band occasionally evokes the catchier and less frenetic elements that so many Athens acts have ridden to underground acclaim in recent years. This is obviously a good, creative outfit well on its way to forging a distinctive personality. Here, however, it telegraphs its familiarity with the coolest and weirdest a little too self-consciously. Ruin Everything! is impressive, but it doesn't really stand out. (www.hellosirrecords.com)

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