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The Vita Ruins
A Day Without A Name
(self-released)
www.thevitaruins.com


The back-story on The Vita Ruins is this: Two guys start a band. They build their own studio and with no prior knowledge of recording or production proceed to craft an album. Their initiative and wherewithal show through with every track on this release. There is not a click or bleep on this record that wasn't fully thought out and precisely placed. Each track is a beautifully layered soundscape. In a word, The Vita Ruins' debut full-length, A Day Without A Name, is dense.

The album opens with "Godspeed To That Polytheist", an updated take on the classic Britpop sound of Oasis, layered heavily with electronics effects. The mood changes abruptly on track 2, "Seven Suns", which rolls along with a Jesus And Mary Chain-meets-Love And Rockets industrial flow. From there the album veers into much more modern touchstones; Thom Yorke-esque vocals, Coldplay-like arena rocks swells, guitar riffs à la U2's The Edge.

The song titles are pretentious in a bad way ("I Was Hoping That Our Stardust Was In Some Way Connected" the most egregious offender), while the music is pretentious in a good way. Much like Radiohead's best tracks; excruciatingly difficult while at the same time masterfully crafted. A Day With No Name is a joy from beginning to end; the perfect album for a melancholy Sunday afternoon.

The only criticism that could be foisted on The Vita Ruins is that all of their influences are worn so glaringly on their sleeves, while their own sound has not yet fully developed. The Vita Ruins sound a lot like each of their influences but I'm not sure they sound like The Vita Ruins, at least not yet. One can hope that for their sophomore effort The Vita Ruins will meld their influences into a sound all their own.

-George Dow

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Mike Doughty



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