Theory of Ruin Counter-Culture Nosebleed

Disbanding the lovable UK sludge slingers Fudge Tunnel in 1995 before they started to suck, front-man Alex Newport moved to the States and began recording and producing such acts as the Melvins and At The Drive-In. San Francisco's Theory Of Ruin improves upon his previous noise works then catapults them straight into the aggro rock/hardcore mosh pit. David Link's opening bass line in "Asleep At The Wheel" resembles both Tool and Quicksand rolled into one chord progression, and Newport's ever-vitriolic snarl during the choruses immediately recalls the metal/punk fury of Nailbomb, his short-lived side project with Sepultura's Max Cavalera. The tamest cut, "Missives On A Recurring Theme," only goes for the throat in the choruses, as Newport's Fudge Tunnel tendencies bubble up in the brew. But the Melvins-ish "A Friendly Reminder" reprises the Fudge in a more chaotic manner and "Type A Male" furthers that sentiment with a catchier, louder refrain. "Profiteering" resembles New Traditionalists-era Devo jamming with Helmet, as Newport croons like a possessed David Byrne. The Skeleton Key-like gait of "Translate It" quickly burns off for a white-knuckled careening into oncoming traffic, while the 13-minute closer, "Blasted," spotlights the Dale Crover tendencies of Mr. Bungle drummer Ches Smith, alongside Newport's guitar noisescapes and bashfests. Counter-Culture Nosebleed is an urgent and convincing record as Newport stomps back onstage for his finest hour yet. (Escape Artist)