My Ruin + G.U. Medicine

Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms - January 2006

Images by Slinky

by Armchair Anarchist

G.U. Medicine aren’t a pretty-boy act by any stretch and as soon as they start playing the sound matches the image. They conjure up angry, riff-driven rock songs. The vocals are gruff, bellowing about booze and birds. The drummer holds down tight, simple loops - heavy on the cymbals for punctuation. The licks are firm and forceful, lots of little pauses and sleazy wah-wah flourishes. They come across like a seething blues-rock act on nitrous. I can’t tell whether they’re a stoner group who’ve been unable to score for weeks or a tongue-in-cheek hair-metal pastiche. Either way, they make an enjoyable racket. When My Ruin take the stage, the crowd are electrified. Tarrie’s voice isn’t at its best thanks to a cold, but she still manages to sing more aggressively than a lot of blokes can. Her vocals are authentic in their anger, channelling the rage of a strong woman who has to fight to keep her place in a male environment. The band lay down some slow and measured doom-laden riffwork, full of harmonic squeals and effect-drenched solos. They are much more than just a vehicle for Tarrie, holding their own with a skilled, spacious sound. The rhythms are simple but thick with bile and thwarted malice, as is Tarrie herself. Despite the illness she gives the assembled fans a slice of her soul, stripped and bleeding. The new line-up hasn’t quite bedded down yet but the sense of commitment is prominent. My Ruin are back with a vengeance.