The Ruiners

Happy Birthday Bitch

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After listening to the Ruiners, it's not hard to get the feeling you would never want to live next door to these people. They're loud, they're snotty, they engage in all manner of dangerous and antisocial behavior and would probably be having crazed parties all hours of the day and night that would require intervention from the police. But would you go to one of their get-togethers if you got an invite? Hey, why not? If you survived the evening, you'd probably have a real cool time. Or at least that's the vibe that rises off the band's fourth album, Happy Birthday Bitch; singer Rick Ruiner leads an industrial-strength party crew whose members are ready to take the fast lane to hell as long as there are free drinks at the other end, and their mixture of punk rock snot, glam/metal guitar flash, and biker-flick-from-Mars attitude sounds like one of those great evenings you would never dare explain to your mom, significant other, or parole officer. Guitarist Justin Ruiner delivers some solid trashy riffs, bassist Liz Ruiner and drummer Rob Ruiner keep the whole crazed show running in one lane, and additional vocalist Nina Friday brings all the evil this show needs (as well as revealing the big reasons for her success in rock & roll on the cover). Happy Birthday Bitch barely has a serious bone in its body (despite the screed against a lazy and corrupt policeman on "Suburban Cop"), but the Ruiners are clearly here to rock and that's just what they do on this album; it ain't subtle, safe, or PC, but it'll keep you howling until the sun comes up, and it'll make a fine soundtrack for your next trip to the liquor store or the fireworks stand.

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