Released on Matt Talbott's Earth Analog imprint.
New Ruins have a warmth and intimacy to their '70s Laurel Canyon, sunbaked rock sound that can only come from musicians that have spent years together banging out songs in a studio and onstage. In the case the Ruins, it is the product of a long running creative partnership between two singer/songwriters: Elzie Sexton and Caleb Means. Both Illinois natives, the duo began working together in 2004, self-recording and self-releasing a series of recordings that spilled over with fuzzy guitar chords, smoke-stained vocals, and plainspoken lyrics that burned with the sharp tang of a whiskey shot.
Sexton and Means have welcomed more folks into the fold - keyboardist/guitarist Dave Samuel, drummer Roy Ewing, and bassist Andrew Davidson - and with each addition, The New Ruins have become even grander in scope. Their fourth LP This Life Is Not Ours To Keep feels downright huge, with the band employing a three-guitar attack to add fire and fury to Sexton and Means' anthems of familial agony and gleeful destruction.
Too, for this new disc, the band found an able partner in Brian Deck, a producer who has logged time in the studio with his own band Red Red Meat and groups like Modest Mouse, Iron & Wine, and Fruit Bats. You can hear Deck's hands in the echoing percussion that wobbles through "Homes Of Rich Blood", the ghostly vocals that creep into "Fast One", and in the clear-eyed vision that allows the band to sound even more punchy and emotive.
Everything else on the album—the chiming Neil Young style guitar chords, the ragged vocalizing, the driving rhythms, the earworm melodies—is courtesy of New Ruins, and it's all for you.