Theory of Ruin Front Line Poster Child

Ex-Fudge Tunnel leader Alex Newport turns bullocks into brilliance once again as San Fran’s Theory Of Ruin unleash this five-song EP. With a debut as fabulously freakish as 2002’s Counter Culture Nosebleed, this terrific trio has managed to get even noisier yet more focused on making sharper turns on the post-punk-metal dime. Opener "Hijo De Un Guapo” seethes with enough bombast to engulf a how-to DIY punk workshop, and Newport is even kind enough to include a little guitar feedback to remind one of his days with the fabulous Fudgies. David Link’s unflagging bass lines build the foundation of the controlled chaos within "Double Negative” and "Let’s Get Depressed”: Ches Smith’s avant-jazz cymbal work and taut snare snaps create the perfect foil to Newport’s almost discordant guitar and half-growled, half-yelled vocals. Smith’s crazy polyrhythms in "Interruption” recall Missing Persons’ Terry Bozzio and Newport’s clean vocals make for a way-corrupted Rush cover. Their near-mechanical drums and guitars cause the expansive "That’s Why I Drink Too” to seem industrial at times like Selfless-era Godflesh. Front Line Poster Child is Theory Of Ruin’s crowning achievement thus far and a definite statement that the term "sophomore jinx” is not part of their vocabulary. (Escape Artist)