Dead City Ruins: Midnight Killer

A gutsy, grimy debut from a land Down Under.

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You can usually tell an Aussie band by the dirt in their pores and filth in their riffs, and make no mistake, Dead City Ruins are steeped in grime.

But unusually, these ex-pat Australians did it all back-about-face. They started up in London before shipping it all back home Down Under, where they learned their trade by grinding out their stoned-out metal at just about every after-hours bug hut between here and there. Five years on and with all dues paid, they’ve finally found the time to lay down their debut release.

And boy, have they come out with all guns blazing. As befits their background, there’s no fine art or finesse here, just eight big chunks of rough-house rock’n’roll that’ll have your head nodding whether you want it to or not. Opener Where You Gonna Run marries the trad metal riffs of a dozen of their Antipodean forebears to a Hetfieldian roar, all mushed up in a big ball of mucky fuzz.

Meanwhile, the title track nicks the familiar metronomic plod of the Young brothers and staples it to a stoner riff that the big ginger in QOTSA would be proud to poach. Almost immediately after, the darker, slower Blues shows their edgier, more fractious side.

You won’t learn anything new from this record, but since when did everything cool also have to be novel?