Arts & Entertainment

Press Pass: The Ruins

Washington, D.C. has always been a hodgepodge of a city in terms of its musical taste. In the past 50 years it’s been defined by a handful of different musical genres – Go-go and Punk perhaps the most of all. But that’s given away to an upstart indie music scene of singer songwriters and pop acts that has slowly started to creep into the national consciousness.

Washington, D.C. has always been a hodgepodge of a city in terms of its musical taste. In the past 50 years it’s been defined by a handful of different musical genres – Go-go and Punk perhaps the most of all. But that’s given away to an upstart indie music scene of singer songwriters and pop acts that has slowly started to creep into the national consciousness.

Now, at least one band is attempting to infuse the District’s distinctive sound into yet another genre: Americana.

The Ruins are far from an upstart outfit. Formed by four middle-aged gentlemen who have all spent time performing as part of the D.C. music scene with any number of alternate bands, David Graziano (vocals, guitar), Michael Gauvreau (drums, vocals), Rob Receveur (lead guitar, vocals) and Paul Galarneau (bass) joined up to comprise a very pleasant surprise for those perusing recent concert listings.

It’s tough to say what strikes you first. It could be their cohesion, best exemplified in vocals that would do Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young proud. It could be the rockin’ chops that dispel any notion that all energy springs from youth. Or it could just be the some of these awesome parts, put together to form a package that reminds of simultaneously of Bruce Hornsby and the former Ryan Adams-led outfit Whiskeytown.

Packaged in a tight collection of six tracks on their eponymous EP, The Ruins serve up lyrics with a sweet, slight, southern drawl that explode into rich multi-part harmonies at the chorus. Album-opener “April May” blossoms with each go-round, while Receveur’s guitar work sings through the interludes.

“Mona Lisa” provides a windows-down, open-road ride style romp as the words recall the specter of a wild, past love. One track later, “Drunken Poet’s Dream” ripens with a sassy twang that could fit just fine on a modern Country Top-50 chart.

Northern Virginia music lovers will get a chance to check out the foursome May 12 at IOTA Club and Café in Arlington and nine days later at Bangkok Blues in Falls Church. Don’t let their unheralded rep fool you; there is some serious talent to be seen in those engagements.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*