ALBUM REVIEW: LOVE AMONGST RUIN – “LOSE YOUR WAY”

9/10

LOVE AMONGST RUIN

Headed by former Placebo drummer, Steve Hewitt, Love Amongst Ruin are back with their second album, Lose Your Way. Despite being unceremoniously ejected from the drummer’s seat of the band back in 2007, Hewitt didn’t crumble and wallow. He bounced back and poured all his efforts into this, his next project, Love Amongst Ruin. He was now front-man and primary song writer and the debut self-titled album was released in 2010 to critical acclaim.

The promotional tour for this album stoked his enthusiasm even more and Hewitt says “We’d launched this band and made our presence felt. A critically acclaimed record, it did really well, we gained a lot of fans and established everything. It was well received all round Europe so job done.” Hewitt emerged from the tour with new songs, already written, matched with a new found confidence and a drive to build on the success of the first album. He had proved to watching Placebo fans and to himself that he could do it.

Lose Your Way is the long awaited second album. It has been five years, in which time Hewitt has performed and produced for other bands, such as Spiral 69, LYS and Six by Seven. It was recorded over a two and half month period at Moles Studio in Bath. On board were Julian Cope’s, Donald Ross Skinner and producer, Dan Austin. It was released on 29th June 2015 on Ancient-B records.

Lose Your Way is also the title of the opening track which launches the album off to dark delight – “I can’t believe you killed the world of beauty” Hewitt proclaims accompanied by a steady guitar beat and moody undertones. It’s a fitting and fine introduction. With Modern War Song, the sound slows down, becomes sombre to a military drum beat with a dreamy quality to it and excellent harmonies. It is both sad and haunting and a stand out track. Hewitt nails this song with vocals that evoke perfectly the sentiment behind the song. Then, just when you think you know where it’s going, mid-way, it builds up into a cataclysmic climax of shimmering guitars.

Hewitt shows his aptitude for different styles and moods, especially when he slows it down, on tracks such as Watch Myself, Paper Tigers and Menace Ballad. Oh God hypnotises from the start with Hewitt’s heartfelt lyrics matching perfectly with the beautiful riff of guitar that accompanies throughout. It gradually builds to a piercing climax by a rich string section and it’s a stunner of a song and an album highlight.

Lose Your Way is a dark, atmospheric album, with reverb drenched guitars that stretch beyond a standard rock sound. The influences Hewitt experienced in his time away have given birth to a creative piece of work. Here is an album that conveys and captures all mood and genre. And continually surprises. Let’s hope it isn’t too long before we get the chance to see Love Amongst Ruin live, especially with the announcement that they will be accompanied by ex – Cure guitarist, Perry Bamonte. If Lose Your Way has so far, passed you by, then make it your next listen.

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