Ruins

Tzomborgha

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Like some twisted version of "Bohemian Rhapsody" played by a collaboration between the Boredoms and the Bonzo Dog Band, Ruins' Tzomborgha is a fascinating and nerve-racking mix of back and forth shouting matches, falsetto vocables, and out-of-control bass and drum jams. Somehow the nonsense seems cohesive and, by the end, oddly coherent. With constantly changing time signatures, none of this could really be called catchy or accessible, but it is challenging and rewarding. Tracks like "Skhanddraviza" sound like prog rock from another dimension, with touches of King Crimson, Genesis, and Queen. "Pachtseills" sounds like the Minutemen played on a nursery-school turntable at the wrong speed. They even play a Black Sabbath medley and a Mahavishnu Orchestra medley. Sound confusing? It is. The fact that this Japanese noise band can be so off the wall yet so evocative of both arena rock favorites and iconoclastic punk makes no sense at all. But true to its name, Ruins manages to take the building blocks of fallen music genres and stack them into something totally new and unexpected.

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