Ex-Placebo member Steve Hewitt has stylistically distanced himself from his days as a drummer. Finding himself at the front of the stage was an unforeseen venture that he more stumbled across than had ever planned. Nonetheless, this takes no quality away from Love Amongst Ruin’s exciting debut album.
The underlining of gloominess that defined his former band may still be there, but Hewitt has essentially moved away from the energised neurosis of old, to a dark but tranquil melancholia.
The first two songs of the album kick off a charismatic start. Released as a single, So Sad (Fade) begins the album with a burst of distorted grungy riffs, and Alone has the twinges of keyboard between verses that suggest a bit of Depeche Mode has sneaked it’s way in.
Come On Say It has a spacey feel, with some beautiful violins weaving in and out, contributing to the chilled atmosphere of the tune. Vocally, there’s some of Richard Kruspe (with Emigrate) in there and, dare I say it, a little of Ian Brown too, especially in Heaven & Hell.
Unfortunately Blood & Earth does nothing but annoy with the repeated ‘I’ve gotta run just to get away’ becoming a grating chorus and rare downside to the record.
Hewitt has come forth from the back of the stage in true fashion and demanded respect as a solo artist. We’re giving him it.